- Loses 4 Officers In 9 Months to Smugglers’ Attack
The Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) Federal Operations Unit Zone A, which intervention and enforcement roles cover land and sea in Lagos and Ogun States , has warned Nigerians, against the danger of consuming foreign rice, on the grounds that the product is poisonous.
The Acting Controller of the FOU , Zone A , Deputy Comptroller Hussein Ejibunu issued the warning, when the League of Maritime Editors and Publishers (LOMEP) paid him a visit at his office in Lagos yesterday.
Ejibunu disclosed that Nigerians should steer clear of foreign rice for the fact that it is not fit for human consumption , while it has proved to be a contributory cause of cancer and other diseases.
He said people should rather cultivate the habit of patronising locally produced rice, which , according to him, is of high quality and fit for human consumption. The Controller said consuming locally produced rice would grow the economy , check the rate of unemployment and assist the producers of the commodity to further develop their trade.
When reminded that the quantity of local rice produced in the country can hardly satisfy local demands, he stated that it is not an excuse for people to be eating foreign rice that is injurious to their health , pointing out that the local producers would meet up with demands , when they receive more patronage to produce.
He said apart from the fact that most of the foreign rice imported into Nigeria are not even consumed in Asian countries, where theyare produced . the fact that they have passed their shelf lives before they get to the country, makes them to be bad , smelly and poisonous.
It would be recalled that the Customs through its Comptroller General, Colonel Hameed Ali (rtd) has been very consistent in advising people against consumption of foreign rice.
He said a large part of the seizures that have been made by the FOU A , which comprises imported rice, fuel export and to a certain extent, frozen products.
Ejibunu said , he has interacted variously with the traditional rulers in the towns and border villages, with a view for them to educating their citizenry on the dangers of smuggling and the need for them to cease attacking the FOU A officers.
He disclosed that one of the greatest challenges of the FOU A has been the unprovoked attack and killing of his officers by smugglers, a development to which he said the Unit has lost four officers in nine months of his being the Acting Controller.
The Ag, Controller sought the support of the LOMEP to educate the public on the sacrifice the customs and it officers are making, to protect the economy and check loss of revenue by government.
He attributed the successes of the FOU A since his assumption of office to the constant and unprecedented logistic support of the Customs Comptroller General , adding that this has been demonstrated by the fact that the FOU A got 21 patrol vehicles in four months and an ambulance recently from the Customs headquarters.
The President of LOMEP had earlier commended the Acting Controller for the series of seizures which the FOU A has been making since he mounted the saddle , adding that the visit of the association was meant for collaboration with him , to enhance the Unit’s performance.