The Area Controller, Niger-Kwara-Kogi Command, Nigeria Customs Service, Benjamin Binga, at the weekend, said the command had seized goods estimated at over N39.99m within the Kwara State jurisdiction between January and August 2017.
He listed the seized items as 1,776 bags of rice, valued at about N26.99m; 20 vehicles, valued at about N12m; 77 containers of vegetable oil, valued at about N1m and 200 used tyres.
Binga spoke through the Officer-in-Charge, Kwara Station, NCS, Umar Abubakar, during the destruction of 130 bags of expired rice in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital.
He said the agency would not relent in carrying out its statutory duties even with current constraints and hazards.
He warned that smuggling is detrimental to national economy, adding that it had been hampering the growth of indigenous industries. He urged Nigerians to imbibe the culture of using indigenously produced commodities.
Binga said, “We witnessed the destruction of spoilt rice from the government NCS Warehouse in Ilorin, Kwara State. We actually found that some bags of rice were infected by rodents and after confirming from the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, that they were not good for human consumption, and also to avoid them getting into the public market, we called relevant agencies to witness the destruction of the 130 bags of rice.
“Smuggling kills local content. Smuggling brings in all kind of substandard goods into the country. It is the number one killer of the economy.”
“Rice and vehicles importation is not banned but it is restricted. You do not bring into the country vehicles and rice through the land borders.
“They are prohibited. You can bring rice through the sea ports, and you can bring in vehicles through seaports and airports. There are a lot of prohibited items.