By; VICTOR DURUAMAKU, Owerri
The operational unit of the Nigerian customs zone C on Thursday
impounded a truck load of over 400 bags of foreign rice, concealed
with bags of poultry feeds and palm kernel shell heading
for Owerri Imo State capital.
Briefing journalists at the FOU Zone “C” headquarters, Owerri on
Thursday, the Customs Area Controller, Mr. Kayode Olusemire stated
that the bags of rice were smartly concealed with the livestock feeds
and bags of palm kennel shells.
He stated that there was no tip-off as to the arrest, but that the
truck was intercepted following the intelligence of the Customs
operatives of the zone.
“The truck was loaded from the creeks and was intercepted along Port
Harcourt axis”. Adding that the bags of contraband rice were concealed
right round with the bags of palm kernel shell and poultry feeds. They
also used them to cover the top, so that it would look as if the truck
was conveying only bags of palm kernel shell and poultry feeds to the
destination, where needed,” Olusemire added.
The Comptroller however, wondered why smugglers, upon all the
incessant campaigns by Federal Government, would continue to
import/smuggle parboiled foreign rice into the country.
He also regretted the avid love and quest by Nigerians for foreign
rice, when the country’s rice milling factories had fresh, affordable
and consumable quantities for them.
He said, “Parboiled foreign rice is not fresh. They stay up to four to
five months or more in the high sea before they are consumed. It is
not good to human health, considering number of months in the sea and
the chemical used in preserving them from spoiling”.
He therefore advised Nigerians to patronize locally milled rice, just
as he added that it is fresher, generates employment and enhances the
“As far we are concerned, the officers and men of Federal Operations
Unit, Zone C” are out to salvage this country from collapsing,
economically. If smugglers take one step ahead, we take two, to get
rid of their nefarious and obnoxious activities. We shall never allow
the mandate for which Customs Service was established to be nipped in
the bud by the smugglers”, Olusemire summed.