Customs says at least 4,000 benefit from sale of seized rice

Beneficiaries included artisans, teachers, religious bodies, physically-challenged persons and street sweepers.

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Customs, at least 4,000 benefit,sale of seized rice
Picture of the rice distribution by the Nigerian Customs Service in Lagos on Friday

The Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) is delivering on its promise as no fewer than 4,000 persons in Lagos benefitted on Friday from the sale of rice seized by the Service

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The Comptroller-General of the NCS, Mr Adewale Adeniyi, had on Thursday directed that the seized rice be sold to members of the public at a subsidised rate of N10,000 per 25kg bag.

He directed that beneficiaries must produce their National Identification Number to benefit.

Addressing pressure groups, religious leaders and other beneficiaries of the gesture, Adeniyi pleaded with them not to divert the rice to markets.

He assured that more Nigerians would benefit from the gesture as the rice would be sold at subsidised rate at all Customs commands in the country.

He said the Federal Government instructed that the less-privileged be given priority in the sale of the rice.

Some of the beneficiaries who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) commended the Federal Government and the NCS for the kind gesture.

Operatives of the police, the Department of State Services, the Nigerian Army and those of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority provided security at the sales venue.

Beneficiaries included artisans, teachers, religious bodies, physically-challenged persons and street sweepers.

A physically-challenged beneficiary, Mr Taiwo Lawal, broke down in tears while appreciating the Federal Government for the gesture.

“This has never happened in the history of Nigeria where majority of Nigerians will benefit from relief items genuinely and without discrimination.

“If government engages in more of this gesture, prices of goods will reduce and common people will be able to afford them,’’ Lawal said.

A picture of a vulnerable, Mrs Amdalat Balogun, one of the beneficiaries of subsidized rice .

Another vulnerable person, Mrs Amdalat Balogun, who lost her sight at birth, said she got the news on radio and quickly borrowed N10,000 from her neighbour to enable her to benefit from the gesture.

Balogun said she bought the rice preparatory to the forthcoming month of fasting by Muslims and expressed appreciation of the NCS and the Federal Government.

She pleaded with government to sell more subsidised food items to sustain the lives and livelihood of ordinary Nigerians.

In his remarks, Chief Imam of Magodo Phase 2, Central Mosque, Lagos, Imam Abdul-Semiu Kelani, thanked the government and prayed for the success of the present administration.

He noted that the government’s gesture would go a long way to ease the hardship of Nigerians.

A cleric, Mr Emmanuel Omoroke of St. Louis Catholic Church, bought rice on behalf of indigent members of the church and also commended government for the gesture.

A street sweeper engaged by the Lagos State Waste Management Authority, Mrs Morufat Bello, also appreciated government’s gesture after she bought the rice.

A nonagenarian, Mrs Adeke Lateef, whose grandchild took to the sales point prayed for successes for government and urged it to do more.

BRANDPOWER reports that there was a huge crowd outside the gate of the NCS where the sale took place.

Some elderly people were injured in the milieu, but were given First Aid treatment by officials of the NCS.