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Contraband vegetable oil flood Lagos markets

These vegetable oil were first stored at Alaba Rago in the Ojo area of the state by the smugglers before they were redistributed to other…

These vegetable oil were first stored at Alaba Rago in the Ojo area of the state by the smugglers before they were redistributed to other parts of the metropolis.
Although custom authorities at Seme and Owode borders in Lagos and Ogun states respectively and those at the Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone A, Ikeja have impounded several jerry cans of the smuggled items, a good number still found their way into the country.
Uche Ejesieme, Customs Public Relations Officer (PRO), Zone A said that the unit recently seized about 408 jerry cans of vegetable oil valued at N49,042,550 with a Duty Paid Value of N66,207,500. This arrest was done in a single swoop.
Similarly, Ernest Olottah, Customs PRO, Seme Area Command said that the command seized vegetable oil worth over N50 million in 2014.
Daily Trust learnt that those involved in smuggling within the Lagos and Ogun states axis are popularly known as ‘Fayawos’. They go to Cotonou to buy gallons of vegetable oil in jerry cans. At Seme or Owode borders in Lagos and Ogun states respectively, they would conceal the oil in several improvised containers, after which they contact “crossers”, some of whom are cripples, who will ferry the items on board reconstructed tricycles into the Nigerian part of the border. It is at the popular J-5 motor park, Seme, that the vegetable oil are repackaged in black nylon bags.
A source revealed to Daily Trust that the drivers part with at least N200 at the different security check points along the Seme-Mile 2 expressway, to ensure their easy passage.
A buyer of the smuggled product, Fatima Olatunji, told our correspondent that the vegetable oil smuggled into the country from Cotonou is cheaper than the one refined locally.
“Apart from its cheapness, Nigerians prefer foreign vegetable oil to the locally produced ones,” she said.