A total of 5,646 bags of 50kg foreign parboiled rice worth N124, 776, 600 seized by the Western Marine Command (WMC) of the Nigeria Customs Service have expired in the warehouse.
The expired bags of rice are said to have been allocated to undisclosed Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) but are yet to be evacuated due to logistics problems.
Controller of the Command, Comptroller Boyiliya Binga told journalists in Lagos that some of the seized bags of smuggled rice which have been in the customs warehouse for close to two years and are no longer edible.
According to the WMC boss, other items seized by the command included vegetable oil, bags of shoes, used tyres, among other items.
In one of the recent seizures, the Comptroller said that the command nabbed 806 loaves of cannabis with Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N21, 157,500.
Other items include; 219 kegs of vegetable oil worth N2,628,000; 500 bales of cloth with DPV of N42,000,000; 42 sacks of shoes with DPV of N6,413,400 among others.
He gave the total DPV of the items seized has N297.8 million.
According to the customs boss, “Due to the massive seizure in the command, our warehouse is filled with these items and we no longer have space for more seizures to be kept.
“The CAC wishes to appeal to states which were allocated items to IDPs from the headquarters to come and evacuate them. This will help create space in the government warehouse for more seizures.”
Speaking on challenges faced by the command, Binga said the dearth of operational equipment such as boats and vehicles has impacted negatively on the efficiency of the command’s anti-smuggling activities.
He however noted that the command under his watch has been able to furnish three structures to make up for shortage of offices in the command as well as repair three sea going boats with the assistance of the Comptroller General of Customs and his management team.
He promised to improve on its present achievements especially as the officers and men of the Service are being motivated through promotions, welfare packages and supply of vehicles and tyres to the command.