The Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, Alhaji Abdullahi Dikko has ordered the destruction of over 8,000 cartons of seized frozen poultry products at Seme border area of Lagos State, to protect local industry and save the nation’s economy.
Findings revealed that the market value of the seized products is over N52million.
Abdullahi, who spoke through the Deputy Comptroller-General of Customs, DCG, Musa Tahir, at the official launching of operation ‘hawk descend,’ said the town hall meeting was organised to put an end to the smuggling of poultry products into the country.
He said Nigeria could no longer be a dumping ground for smuggled products most of which are preserved with chemicals dangerous for human consumption.
Diko told the gathering which had poultry farmers, traders, community leaders and other security agencies that the Customs had put together a special action plan that would allow the nation’s poultry farmers to remain in business and boost the economy.
The customs boss said the over 8,000 cartons were seized by the combined efforts of his officers at Federal Operation Unit, FOU, Zone ‘A’, Ikeja, Seme, Idi-Iroko and Western Marine Command, Apapa.
He therefore directed all his officers to declare zero tolerance to smuggling of poultry products into the country.
“The objective of ‘hawks descend’ is to achieve national food security and protection of the Nigerian economy against saboteurs. It involves a zero tolerance against smuggling of frozen poultry products.
“During this period, our operatives will intercept smuggled products, seize and destroy them on line with the provision of extant laws and regulation.
“Like the wayward chiks, there will be no hiding place for smuggled chicken in our land. Our hawks will descend and mop them out of circulation,” Diko said.
He assured thousands of patriotic Nigerians who have invested their resources in the local poultry sector of the NCS’s determination to bring the smuggling of frozen chicken to an end.
He bemoaned a situation where the local chicken farmers are facing unfair competition from smuggled chickens which threatens their huge investments and capacity to play their roles as employers of labour.
“Through their investment, they have created a long value chain that provides direct and indirect employment for millions of Nigerians. This is a sector that needs to be nurtured and our total protection to survive and now is the time,” he said.
In his speech, the director-general, Poultry Association of Nigeria, Mr Onallo Akpa urged customs and other security agencies to protect their members from the antics of smugglers who are destroying their investments.
Akpa thanked Dikko and his management team in their efforts to suppress smuggling and protect the nation’s economy.
The area controller of Seme command, Mr. Ndalati Mohammed said officers and men of the service were now well equipped to bring smugglers to their knees.
He said the smugglers were trying to evade import duty by bringing in prohibited items through unapproved routes.
“Full compliance with the directive from our CGC had resulted in the seizures of the items we are destroying today, so that other smugglers will know that there is no avenue for them to smuggle even a cartoon of chicken into this country.”
The items were destroyed in the presence of officials of the Nigerian Army, Air Force, Quarantine, NAFDAC and newsmen.

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