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Shettima: We’ve uncovered 32 routes for smuggling food out of Nigeria

The Federal Government has uncovered 32 routes through which food items are smuggled out of the country. Hoarding and smuggling have been identified as factors…

The Federal Government has uncovered 32 routes through which food items are smuggled out of the country.

Hoarding and smuggling have been identified as factors worsening the hardship in the land as they fuel increase in cost of commodities.

The government has sought different measures to tackled the trend.

Speaking at a conference on Public Wealth Management held in Abuja, on Tuesday, Vice President Kashim Shettima said on the midnight of Sunday, 45 trucks loaded with maize were intercepted while making their way to neighbouring countries.

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“Just three nights ago, 45 trucks of maize were caught being transported to neighbouring countries. Just in that Ilela axis, there are 32 illegal smuggling routes. And the moment those food stuff were intercepted, the price of maize came down by N10,000. It came down from N60,000 to N50,000.

“So, there are forces that are hell-bent on undermining our nation but this is the time for us to coalesce into a singular entity,” he said.

Shettima, who acknowledged that Nigeria is passing through turbulent time, assured the people of the country that the pain will not last forever.

“We have to make this country work. We have to move beyond politics. We are now in the face of governance. Sadly, some of our countrymen are still in the political mode. They are the practitioners of violence, advocating that Nigeria should go the Lebanon way. But, Nigeria is greater than anyone of us here. Nigeria will weather the storm.

“Forces are hell-bent on plunging this country into a state of anarchy. Those who could not get to power through the ballot box, instead for them to wait till 2027, are so desperate,” he said.

Last week, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) intercepted 15 trucks containing food items in Sokoto.

Abubakar Chafe, spokesperson, NCS in Sokoto, had said the vehicles were arrested along Gwadabawa-Illela road.

Chafe said the interceptions were made due to the quantity of the farm produce the trucks were carrying.

He said the trucks were currently in custody of the command and that an investigation had commenced to ascertain the owners and destinations of the food items.

He explained that the operation was carried out by a combined team of the NCS Sokoto Command, Officers of the Federal Operation Unit and the Intelligent Unit of the Service.

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