Customs Discovered 33 Containers Of Expired Rice In Abuja, Lagos Firms
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), on Thursday, said the 33 containers of expired rice it discovered recently at the ports in Lagos are linked to trading firms in Lagos and Abuja.
Its spokesman, Deputy Comptroller Joseph Attah, in a statement, said 25 of the containers belong to Masters Energy Limited and some of the bags of rice, although imported, have Nigeria addresses traced to No. 31A Remi Fani Kayode Street, GRA, Ikeja, Lagos and Yunee International Trading Co. Ltd at 103 Ebitu Ukiwe Street in Jabi, Abuja.
Customs said it seized 30 containers imported by Masters Energy in 2016/2017 which were ‘falsely’ declared as Yeast, and after judicial process, the rice was forfeited to the federal government which were then distributed to IDPs in the Northeast.
However, the Comptroller General of Customs (CGC) Hameed Ali (Rtd), in a press briefing last Tuesday, said: “The discovering of these containers, stacked in the terminal, came as a result of painstaking profiling of un-utilized Bill of Lading and unclosed manifests which led to the physical discovering of these containers with expired rice.” Customs said the goods were imported but not yet declared and hence, the interception.
Referring to Masters Energy accusation, Customs said: “We have the numbers of those falsely declared as yeast and seized then and these (25 in reference) are containers that were not declared and have been fished-out through profiling.” At another briefing in Port-Harcourt, Area II Command, Onne on Wednesday, Customs said another 11 containers of expired rice, worth N102.3 million and many other prohibited items were intercepted.