The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has revealed how it handles the foreign parboiled rice seized from smugglers.
Contrary to speculations, the NCS said it does not sell rice or other food items to the public, as doing so will encourage smuggling.
Comptroller Dera Nnadi of Ogun 1 Area Command said this during a chat with DAILY POST.
According to him, some of the staple food goes to Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) and the grains that are not good for consumption are given out to poultry farmers as feeds.
He corrected the impression that all the smuggled rice are not good for consumption, stating that the NCS was quoted out of context when it warned Nigerians about eating smuggled rice years ago.
“The bags of rice we seize are in our warehouse. I remember a time before I became the controller, some allocations were given to Internally Displaced Persons (IDP). I recall people made a joke about it that the rice we said was not fit for consumption was being shared to IDPs. But, sometimes, it is not good to quote people out of context. It is not all the rice that is not good for consumption. Of course, the one that is not good is given out to poultry farmers (to be used as feeds for their birds).
“We don’t sell rice to the public because management has decided that you can’t recycle back the same product, if you do, you will encourage smuggling,” Nnadi explained.
The customs boss noted that seized poultry products like turkey and chicken are usually destroyed with the supervision of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).
“For poultry products, we destroy them in the presence of other regulatory agencies like NAFDAC and others. We keep records of those activities. If you want such records, always approach customs. We destroyed cartons of turkey being smuggled in seven vehicles. It was massive,” he said.