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Customs CG urges Dawanau Int’l grains marketers to avoid illegal export, hoarding

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In a proactive move to address the prevailing challenges of food scarcity and hardship gripping the nation, the Comptroller-General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, has enjoined Dawanau International Grains Marketers to avoid any act that will jeopardize the availability and affordability of food for Nigerians.

During his visit to the market situated in Kano on Friday, March 8, 2024, CGC Adeniyi emphasized the imperative for vigilance against hoarding of food supplies, underscoring the gravity of the ongoing situation, “While we remain confident that you will abide by the rules, we will deploy intelligence to ascertain the level of compliance.”

He says, “This directive underscores the government’s commitment to mitigating the effects of food shortages and ensuring equitable distribution of resources amidst the current national crisis.”

He said the president had identified the ongoing hardship and food scarcity in the country, hence directed that the Act must be fully implemented to ensure that the food items were not illegally exported out of the country when people were in dire need of them.

The Comptroller-General then urged the Dawanau grain dealers to assist the government by complying with the directive banning the exportation of food items to provide enough food to the people.

“We work with you to ensure that our joint objective of achieving national law and so many issues that have been raised is achieved. I listened to you with rapt attention about creating an export warehouse in this market.”

The Nigeria Customs Service will set up machinery that can be used to address issues around who operates the warehouse.”

“The President has asked me to request your understanding that during this period, we will implement the laws forbidding the exportation of certain grains such as beans, rice, and millet, among many others. We do not want those that are locally produced in Nigeria and those that are already imported to be re-exported out of the country.”

“You are a very big stakeholder in this particular business before today. I had a meeting with transporters. I met with journalists to get their support and understanding, and that’s why I’ve also come to this market because we know that this is the biggest market, the reason we must take an interest in where your exports are going.”

He maintained that “we will also make sure that we take on board and collaborate with other agencies like the Nigerian Export Promotion Council, and most importantly, the Central Bank of Nigeria because I understand that there is still a big issue we need to resolve.”

In his remarks, the President of the Dawanau Market Development Association, Muttaka Isah, told the Comptroller-General that members of the association were facing some 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 foreign bodies that might spoil them.” He said.

“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.” He said.

Meanwhile, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Dawanau Development Association, Abdullahi Maidoya, expressed appreciation for CGC Adeniyi’s initiative in taking the time to interact with the market’s leadership and listen to their concerns.

Maidoya commended the Comptroller-General for his commitment to fostering a conducive business environment for traders within the market.

He particularly lauded the promise made by CGC Adeniyi to facilitate seamless business conditions, acknowledging the significance of such efforts in alleviating the challenges faced by businesspeople operating in the market.

Recognizing the importance of streamlining import processes, he emphasized the need for collaborative efforts between the service and market stakeholders to address barriers and ensure the smooth flow of essential commodities into the country.

In another development, the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service has embarked on a comprehensive inspection visit to the Malam Aminu Kano International Airport and some Bonded Terminals under the jurisdiction of NCS Kano/Jigawa Area Command.

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