Customs Partners Kano Grain Dealers to Fight Hunger, Implements Export Prohibition Act

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has concluded plans to collaborate with the Dawanau International Grains Market in Kano to fight hunger and promised total compliance with the Export Prohibition Act in the country’s borders.

The Comptroller General of the Service, Mr Bashir Adewale Adeniyi disclosed this during a courtesy call on the leadership of the Market on Friday in Kano.

He said President Bola Tinubu has directed the service to collaborate with other Federal Government Agencies and the Dawanau Grain Deaders Association to fight against hunger in the country.

Adeniyi explained that the Nigeria Customs Service was working assiduously to secure the Nigerian borders, safeguarding industries as well as agricultural produce.

He said now that  the country was passing through a food crisis, the President has directed total compliance with the Export Prohibition Act, which imposed a total ban on the exportation of food especially, when people were in dire need of them.

The comptroller-general then urged the Dawanu grains dealers to assist the government by complying with the directive banning the exportation of food items, to provide enough food to the people.

“It is unwise for a reasonable and sincere country to embark on the exportation of food items when her citizens need them.”

“You are big stakeholders in this direction and these are the reasons why I  am here to interact with you and solicit your support,” he said. 

He further explained that the Nigerian customs service was working closely with the border communities to get timely intelligence in curtailing the smuggling of food and other contraband items.

The NCS boss added that to enhance effective community relations between the Nigeria Custom and border communities efforts have been put in place to construct schools and health facilities geared towards achieving the stated goals.

” Six big projects would be sited at the border areas through special intervention provision”

The Comptroller General added that the Nigeria Customs Service had begun roundtable meetings with leaders of the Grains market, aimed at fine-tuning modalities of addressing hikes in food product prices.

In his remarks, the President of the Dawanau Market Development Association, Alhaji Muttaka Isah, told the comptroller-general that members of the Association were facing several challenges which included “the unfounded allegation in some quarters that our dealers hoard grains in their warehouses.”

“I want to seize this opportunity, Sir, to deny this baseless allegation and to inform Nigerians that we do not hoard foodstuffs; whatever grains we procure from the growers and other sources, we store them in our warehouses for a while, before we supply them directly to our customers in the markets.

“So, we store these grains for operational convenience and to protect the foodstuffs from any foreign bodies that might spoil them. That is the truth.

“Another challenge bedeviling this market is the near absence of operational understanding between our traders who import beans, and the operatives of the Nigeria Customs Service, especially along the Nigeria-Niger International border.

“We appeal that the operatives of the Nigeria Customs Service relax their conditions on the importation of beans and other foodstuffs from the Niger Republic to enable us to transport the goods seamlessly for the benefit of our customers in particular and Nigeria in general,” the president added.

Ahmad Sorondinki in Kano