By Ngozi Ekhator
The Nigeria Customs Service has busted a multi-million naira imported rice warehouses in Ogun State and subsequently placed a red flag on the activities of smugglers in the tate, “especially during the Yuletide.”
The Area Controller, Ogun Area Command, Michael Ojobo Agbara, disclosed this to newsmen at the Idiroko Border Command on Tuesday.
The Controller expressed worry about the increasing use of motorcycles in conveying smuggled items, with little regards for its dire risks.
Agbara however restated the resolve of the command’s officers and men at intensifying efforts in carrying out their statutory responsibility.
He maintained that customs will continue to campaign and sensitise members of the border community.
According to him, “We have placed a red flag on Ogun state. It is a no-go area. We are ready and ever willing to challenge anyone who engages in smuggling.
“The quantity of motorcycles being used to smuggle rice is fast becoming alarming, despite the associated risk attached to it.
“We are campaigning and sensitising the people on the negative effect of smuggling. Some of the traditional rulers are also assisting us.
“We have been deploying intelligence in our attempt to get rice smuggled by the motorcyclists because we can’t engage them when they are on motion.
“So what we do is to track them to their warehouse and seize them because the law allows us to do so. Some of them are more desperate this December period because of the festivities.
“We are doing this as our patriotic responsibility. If we encourage our farmers to grow rice, we will increase our various chain.
“Some of the rice that are being smuggled are contaminated because some of them have been kept in the warehouse for about 10 years.
“They may be the cause of some of the diseases people are having today”.