Food Smuggling: Time to Investigate Top Customs Officers

Nigeria Customs

Do you remember when the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) issued a statement informing Nigerians about new measures to check food smuggling?

Well, it seems there is an ‘insider job’ being carried out by high-ranking officers to press ‘CTRL spoil’ even before the measures are activated.

In the statement, the NCS said it had launched a strategic anti-smuggling operation to prevent the unlawful exportation of vital food resources for individual economic gains.

This measure, according to the government agency, is a proactive stance to safeguard food availability within the country.

But not more than 24 hours after the announcement, the Foundation for Investigative Journalism (FIJ) released a report revealing how NCS bosses take bribes from smugglers and betray their colleagues. An investigative journalist don pack plenty sand put inside dia cup.

According to this report, investigative journalist, Fisayo Soyombo, attempted to illegally import not one, not two, but 100 bags of rice from the Republic of Benin. He succeeded. And that happened easily.

The main gist in this report is that Soyombo did not meet any resistance from the customs as the bosses or ogas were busy collecting bribes and providing updates on their colleagues’ itineraries. Security bosses don turn smuggling guide. Shey you see say big wahala dey. 

Generally, citizens’ distrust in the government and public officials is based on a history of systemic corruption, mismanagement of resources, and inadequate service delivery.

The NCS Comptroller-General, Bashir Adeniyi, who is responsible for the overall management and direction of the service, must investigate the findings in the report and bring every corrupt officer to book.

We also call on President Bola Tinubu to urgently work on solving the long-standing problem of Nigeria having ‘porous’ borders, as this also fuels food smuggling.

Photo source: Nigeria Customs Service

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