Customs destroys N70m poultry products

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LAGOS— The Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, destroyed about 20,000 cartons of smuggled poultry products worth over N70 million impounded by both Federal Operations Unit, FOU and Seme Command of the service.

Mr. Uche Ejesieme, the Customs Public Relations Officer at FOU, Zone ‘A’ Ikeja, said yesterday that the unit seized 16,391 cartons of the poultry products between June and November.

He said that Dr. Abdullahi Dikko, the Comptroller General of Customs, had passed a circular on zero tolerance on poultry products, adding that Comptroller Dan Ugo, the Head of the Unit, was determined to ensure strict compliance.

Ejesieme said that the duty paid value of the seized poultry products was N62.3 million.

“Between Monday and Saturday, we made total seizure of 1,117 cartons of poultry products and we made sure that we seized the means of conveyance,” he said.

The Seme Command of NCS also said it impounded over 3,000 cartons of poultry products in the last three months valued at between N6m and N8m.

Mr. Ernest Olotta, the Public Relations Officer of the Command, told NAN that the controller of the Command had fortified the anti-smuggling team.

“If smuggling stops, Nigeria stands to gain through job opportunities and there will be more foods, even for export, “ Olota said.

Mr. Jonathan Nicol, the Secretary General, Shippers’ Association of Lagos State, revealed that local supply of poultry production had not met the local demand.

“Smuggling is rampant, either because the supply to the mega hotels is high or because the ordinary man in the street does not have access to the scarce local poultry products.

“The cost of buying chicken locally is twice the amount one buys from smugglers,” he said.

Nicol urged government to remove the ban placed on poultry products, adding that such measure would reduce smuggling.

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