The Nigeria Customs Service (NAN) has distributed 252,666 (50kg) bags of rice worth N3 79 billion in the last 22 months to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the Northeast and Benin in Edo state.
The Public Relations Officer of the Service, Mr Joseph Attah, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja.
Attah said that the distribution of the relief items to the IDPs was as a result of the presidential directive given in January 2016, to the Service to donate all seized perishable items to Nigerians affected by the activities of the insurgents in the Northeast.
According to him, in February 2016, The Comptroller-General of Customs (CGC), retired Col. Hameed Ali, inaugurated a National Logistics Committee (NLC) with members drawn from Customs, Nigerian Army, Nigeria Airforce, Nigerian Police, FRSC,NSCDC, NAFDAC, NTA, NAN, NUJ and Red Cross.
He said that the NLC was mandated to transfer all seized rice and other relief items to IDPs in Borneo, Yobe, Adamawa and Edo States.
Attah said that to ensure security and transparency in the process, the items were transported from the various government warehouses by the Nigerian Army corps of supply and transport to various states in the Northeast and Benin.
“252, 666 (50kg) bags of rice worth N3.79 billion were distributed to the IDPs in the Northeast and Benin in the last 22 months.
“Likewise, 82,140 25 litre of jerricans worth over N985 million, 19,491 cartoon of soap worth N52,625,700 and other items such as bales of used cloths, cartoons of spaghetti,25 litre Jerricans of palm oil, cartoons of slippers, bags of footwear, dozens of children shirts was distributed as well.
“Dozens of female wears, dozens of female hijab, cartoons of mosquito coil, sacks of school bags, branded wrapper, bales of praying mates, rolls of textile, cartoons of sugar among others in their thousands were all distributed to the IDPs.
“Despite the tones of rice and other relief items already transferred to the IDPs , NCS warehouses across the country are still filled with rice.
“This only shows that the sustained onslaught against unrepentant rice smuggliers has continued to yield positive results,” Attah said.
He said that the items in the warehouses were either awaiting court condemnation to the Federal Government or has already been allocated to government of the affected state who pays the Army corps of transport and logistics for their transportation to the IDPs.
“Eventually, the seized rice and other perishable items presently in the warehouses will be given to fellow Nigerians affected by the unfortunate insurgency in the Northeast”.
On e-auction, Attah said that so far 646 number of vehicles has been won with over N272 million generated as revenue for the Federal Government.
He said that since the commencement of the e-auction process, a number of 5,454 persons registered while 4,865 actually nodded and 646 emerged winners.
“The introduction of the e-auction process was based on the need to eliminate abuses associated with manual process of the past.
“This is to ensure maximum revenue from the process while still providing equal opportunity to all interested Nigerians to log on to the e-auction portal and bid for any items they wish,” Attah said.
He said that NCS would continue to be careful in handling of goods at its warehouses so as not to be dragged into unnecessary litigations by claimants as a result of illegal disposal.
Attah said that Customs boss launched the e-auction platform https: app.trade.gov.ng/e-auction on July 3,2017. (NAN)