The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has revealed that traders are disguising local rice as foreign rice to deceive unsuspecting buyers.
This was disclosed by the newly deployed Customs Area Controller of the Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone A in Ikeja, Lagos state, Compt. Mohammed Aliyu when he took over the affairs of the unit from Compt. Muhammed Uba over the weekend.
Aliyu, who announced the seizures of another 17 sacks of pangolin scales weighing 738KG worth N175million and 190 bags of foreign parboiled rice concealed in Jerry cans worth N178million, promised to maintain the tempo of the fight against smuggling set by the immediate past comptroller, who has been redeployed to Seme Border command of the service.
The comptroller stated that rice seen in markets are locally produced rice re-bagged in foreign bags by traders to meet the desire of Nigerians for foreign taste. He said, “Some of the rice you see in the market are local rice and because Nigerians like foreign goods, they rebag it with bag of foreign rice to attract Nigerians.”
Aliyu who stated that the local rice are mostly from Kura in Kano State asked Nigerians to look out for the content and not the beauty of the package. “Some other local rice are coming from Kura, Kano State but they rebag it with foreign bags so, sometime don’t look at the beauty of the bag but the content.”
However, officers and men of the unit have pledged their loyalty to the recently deployed controller of the command. The officers and men of the Command made the pledge amidst appeals by the Muhammed Uba Garba to the officers to extend the same level of support given to him in his one year and two months at the helm of affairs at the Command.
Responding, Compt. Aliyu vowed to defend any of his officers that do not compromise his position but do the right thing. He further stated that though he would run an open office, any officer who do not have any official matter to discuss with him have no basis seeing him.
Meanwhile, Compt. Uba presented commendation letters to four outstanding officers for their contributions to spectacular seizures in the Command. One of them, Muttalib Sule, was head of warehouse. He was recognised for intercepting the highest number of pangolin scales and elephant tusks in the world.
Others are Riks Lura, a chief superintendent of Customs who is the head of Operations in the command and Lagos Roving team. He was also given a commendation letter for his contribution to anti-smuggling operations in the Command, particular interception of such dangerous drugs as tramadol and Codeine in Cough syrups which had been banned by the federal government from being imported into the country.
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