Nigerian Customs Service has said it is set to discard more than ten thousand bags of expired bags of foreign rice and other items intercepted by the Western Marine Command of the service about two years ago.
The items which include used tyres, fabrics, used clothing and other items have been kept in the command’s warehouse all the while.
The marine Command which recently impounded about 342 bags of rice along the waterways, explained that the expired staple food in large quantities would be evacuated for agricultural purposes across the country.
Our correspondent confirmed that the latest seizure of rice has no facility for warehousing as all the buildings at the command have been stockpiled with bags of rice.
The halted buildings under construction at the command supposedly meant for personnel’s accommodation are also occupied by the product.
Speaking on the development, Controller in charge of the amphibian command, Comptroller Olugboyega Peters in a chat with journalists in Lagos, pointed out that the major warehouse would be evacuated before the end of next week, adding that the Comptroller General of the service, Col Hameed Ali rtd has given directives for the evacuation of the expired items.
His words, “We have a warehouse right there, filled up with rice, though expired rice but we have constructively warehoused the newly seized items. The seized foreign bags of rice are stacked outside but “Officers from the headquarters will be coming over to evacuate the expired rice”, he stated.
Comptroller Peters reiterated that the committee set for that purpose would swing into action in order to accommodate fresh seizures.
As at 2019 the warehouse of the Western Marine Command had about 5,646 expired bags of 50kg foreign parboiled rice worth N124, 776, 600.00
The amphibian arm of the service has lamented that due to massive seizure in the command, the warehouse had been filled up leaving no space for new seizures.
The immediate past Area Controller of the command, Comptroller Boliyila Binga last year, told journalists that some of the seized bags of smuggled rice which have been in the customs warehouse for close to two years are no longer edible.
Edited by ‘Biodun Soyele
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