Customs to return Seized Food Items at the Borders to Owners

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CGC Adewale Adeniyi

– President Tinubu to decide when the borders will be open – Customs CG

By Innocent Orok

President Bola Tinubu has ordered the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to give back the food items they seized at the border communities to the rightful owners, with the requirement that the items should be sold in Nigerian markets.

According to a report the Comptroller General of Customs , Adewale Adeniyi, talked about this in Katsina on Saturday while meeting with people from border areas at Kongolam and Mai’Adua border stations.

He mentioned that President Tinubu had made a decision to use his authority not based on legal guidelines, “but rather reflecting the deep sense of generosity he holds towards Nigeria.”

Adeniyi said: “In doing so, he has directed that those food items that were going out of the country that have been seized in various border areas should be returned to the owners on the condition that those goods would be sold in the Nigerian markets

.“So, we will be monitoring you to know if there is a violation of this. Those food items will be returned, and it is a directive that we will pass them back into the Nigerian markets,” Adeniyi said.

Meanwhile, the Customs boss has also said that only President Tinubu will make a decision regarding the reopening of borders.

He shared this information while having a chat with residents of the Kongolam border community in Mai’adua Local Government Area of Katsina State. Adeniyi, responding to the calls for the borders to be reopened, reassured them that discussions and talks are underway about the situation.

“Once consultations are concluded, a decision will be taken on the matter,” he said.

Furthermore, Adeniyi confirmed that the Service will prioritize eliminating barriers that hinder free trade, aligning with the current government’s goal of promoting economic growth.

“We are conscious of the concerns of the border communities, particularly with regard to the number of checkpoints and the closure of land borders.

“I assure you that our operations are always guided by law, and we only operate on delegated powers.
“We have communicated the concerns and complaints by residents of the border communities to the President and because he has listening ears he directed that we should release confiscated food items, on the condition that they will only be sold in the Nigerian markets,” he said.

Adeniyi mentioned that they are working with other agencies like the Police to solve problems affecting free trade at the border areas. He met with former President Muhammadu Buhari and the Emir of Daura, Alhaji Umar Faruq-Umar during his visit.

He said “We know that there are markets around our borders, and we know that not all of them are targeted at taking goods across the borders.

“We will continue to monitor and ensure that food produced in Nigeria remains and is consumed in Nigeria. This is because we are in a period of national emergency that has to do with food insufficiency.

“And that is why we must collectively work together to assist the government to enforce the various laws prohibiting exportation of food items at this time,”.

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