Over the past few months, the Nigerian customs have seized tens of thousands of smuggled rice.
Customs Comptroller-General, Col. Hameed Ali, said the agency has redistributed the rice to Internally Displaced Persons.
They were about 40,000 bags of rice in total!
Col. Ali said all the rice was first subjected to a laboratory analysis with officers from NAFDAC.
At a joint press briefing, the acting DG of NAFDAC, Mrs. Yetunde Oni, and Customs boss said no plastic rice was imported into the country.
Oni, however, said the seized rice was “Contaminated with microorganisms above the permissible limit.”
“Based on the above laboratory result, the product is not plastic rice.
“However, the rice was contaminated with micro-organisms above the permissible limit.
“Hence the seized rice consignment is unsatisfactory and therefore unwholesome for human consumption.
“The consignment upon handover by the Nigeria Customs Service shall be destroyed,” Oni emphasized.
The Nigerian Customs said the agency only responded to a security alert issued by the Office of the NSA on the importation of plastic rice.
NCS further explained that the good bags of rice seized from traders were illegally imported into Nigeria.
The customs boss explained that the NCS had after subjected the rice to test had given them to IDPs.
“We have seized over 40,000 bags of rice so far since the ban on importation of rice through the land borders.
“Those are the bags of rice that are being shared to the IDPs camps.
“But that is after we have tested and certified them suitable for consumption.”
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“We enjoin transporters to reject moving such products since the law prohibits such.
“We will ensure that smuggled and unhygienic products are not allowed in Nigeria,” he said.