The National Coordinator, Comptroller-General of Customs, (Compliance Team), Mr. Ahmed Azarema, has said that the Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Operations Unit, Zone “C” Owerri, Imo State, seized 1,258 bags of 50kg rice, 1,028 bags of 20kg rice and 111 bales of second-hand clothing.
He added that the goods were with duty value of N74, 854, 000, N8, 224, 000 and N10, 656,000 respectively, totalling N93, 734,000.
Azarema, who disclosed this on Saturday when the Compliance Team visited the Imo/Abia Command of the zone, stated that the seizures were made along Asaba/Onitsha, Port Harcourt/Aba and Aba/Umuahia Expressways.
Addressing journalists in Owerri, the Imo State capital, Azarema stated that the consignments were seized alongside the trucks conveying them because of the Federal Government’s ban on the goods.
He said the smugglers were arrested in the areas under the NCS Zone “C” jurisdiction as a result of the diligence and dexterity of the operatives in the zone.
Azarema said it was unfortunate that Nigerians shunned locally produced foods and embraced imported ones.
He said, “Nigerians don’t like to eat the rice produced here but can spend fortunes to buy the ones imported from China, Brazil, Singapore and Switzerland.”
Azarema said most of the goods imported were preserved with chemicals, adding that the chemicals used in preserving the food were injurious to human health.