March 5, 2024

Smuggling responsible for food scarcity in Nigeria, says Agric Minister

Smuggling responsible for food scarcity in Nigeria, says Agric Minister

Agric Minister, Abubakar Kyari

… Customs to distribute seized food items to Nigerians – Customs CG

By Gift ChapiOdekina, Abuja

The Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Abubakar Kyari, has said part of the factors affecting food availability in the country is the smuggling of food out of Nigeria to other neighbouring countries. 

The minister stated this on Tuesday while addressing members of the House of Representatives during the sectoral debate on agriculture and food security.

Present at the sectorial debate are the Minister of State (Agriculture and Food Security), Sabi Abdullahi, and Comptroller General, Nigeria Customs Service, Adewale Adeniyi, among top government officials.

According to him, “We have seen smuggling of foodstuffs to other neighbouring countries. This has affected the availability of food items in the country,” the minister said.

Also speaking at the debate, the Comptroller General of Customs Service, Adewale Adeniyi, also said that the Nigeria Customs Service has commenced the sale of seized food items to vulnerable Nigerians to address hunger across the country. 

According to him, President Bola Tinubu has directed that food items produced in Nigeria and seized at the Nigerian land borders be sold directly to vulnerable Nigerians to ease the challenge of hunger in the country.

He said, “Mr President has directed that we sell directly to needy Nigerians food items produced locally but which were seized. This is one of the ways to address hunger and food scarcity we are facing. We have started this in Lagos.

“Also, the president has also directed that imported food items seized by the Nigeria Customs Service should be sold back to the local markets for resale to Nigerians.