Food Security: Customs to Enforce Laws against Export of Beans, Rice , Millet , others

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Visit of the Customs CG,Wale Adeniyi, MFR,to the Dawanau International Grains Market in Kano.

As part of measures to mitigate   the challenge of food insecurity  in country, the Nigerian Customs Service(NCS) has pledged to implement the laws, forbidding the exportation of certain grains such as beans, rice, and millet, among many others.

The measure,which  is in line with the directive of President Bola Tinubu, is to ensure that grains  that are locally produced in Nigeria and those that are  imported into the country   are not re-exported ,because people are in dire need of them

The Comptroller General of Customs, Bashir Wale Adeniyi, MFR made the revelation,when he visited Dawanau International Grains Market in the Kano metropolis,  enjoining the marketers to avoid any act, that will jeopardize the availability and affordability of food for Nigerians.

According to him,’’ the President  has asked me to request your understanding that during this period, we will  address the prevailing challenges of food scarcity and hardship gripping the nation’’.

Adeniyi emphasized the imperative for vigilance against hoarding of food supplies, underscoring the gravity of the ongoing situation, adding  “while we remain confident that you will abide by the rules, we will deploy intelligence  to ascertain the level of compliance.”

He said , the  directive underscores the government’s commitment to mitigating the effects of food shortages and ensuring equitable distribution of resources, amidst the current national crisis.

The Comptroller-General then urged the Dawanau grains dealers to assist the government by complying with the directive banning the exportation of food items to provide enough food to the people.

The Customs CG said ,’’we would  work with you to ensure that our joint objective of achieving national law and so many issues which have been raised. I listened to you with rapt attention about creating an export warehouse in this market.

‘’The Nigeria Customs Service will set up machinery that can be used to address issues around who operates the warehouse.

“You are a very big stakeholder in this particular business before today. I had a meeting with transporters. I met with journalists to get their support and understanding, and that’s why I’ve also come to this market because we know that this is the biggest market, the reason we must take an interest in where your exports are going.”

He maintained that “we will also make sure that we take on board and collaborate with other agencies like the Nigerian Export Promotion Council, and most importantly, the Central Bank of Nigeria because I understand that there is still a big issue we need to resolve.”

In his remarks, the President of the Dawanau Market Development Association, Muttaka Isah, told the Comptroller-General that members of the association were facing some challenges, which included “the unfounded allegation in some quarters that our dealers hoard grains in their warehouses.”

“I want to seize this opportunity, Sir, to deny this baseless allegation and to inform Nigerians that we do not hoard foodstuffs; whatever grains we procure from the growers and other sources, we store them in our warehouses for a while, before we supply them directly to our customers in the markets.”

“So, we store these grains for operational convenience and to protect the foodstuffs from foreign bodies that might spoil them.

“Another challenge bedeviling this market is the near absence of operational understanding between our traders who import beans and the operatives of the Nigeria Customs Service, especially along the Nigeria-Niger International border’’, he said.

Meanwhile, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Dawanau Development Association, Abdullahi Maidoya, expressed appreciation for CGC Adeniyi’s initiative in taking the time to interact with the market’s leadership and listen to their concerns.

Maidoya commended the Comptroller-General for his commitment to fostering a conducive business environment for traders within the market.

He particularly lauded the promise made by CGC Adeniyi to facilitate seamless business conditions, acknowledging the significance of such efforts in alleviating the challenges faced by business people operating in the market.

Recognizing the importance of streamlining import processes, he emphasized the need for collaborative efforts between the Service and market stakeholders to address barriers and ensure the smooth flow of essential commodities into the country.

In another development, the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service also  embarked on a comprehensive inspection visit to the Malam Aminu Kano International Airport and some Bonded Terminals under the jurisdiction of NCS Kano/Jigawa Area Command.