President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to release all seized rice and other items in various customs warehouses to designated officials for onward distribution to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
Mr. Adeniyi told newsmen that the Comptroller General has set up a national committee that would coordinate and manage the movement to ensure that all seized items in the custody of the NCS are transferred to relevant agencies according to the directives of the President.
According to him, members of the committee will be drawn from Customs Service, Army, Air Force, Police, Immigration Service EFCC, some NGOs, Civil Society Organisations (CSO) and the media to give the shape of the committee a measure of transparency and credibility.
He stressed that the items to be distributed are only those that have been condemned properly in the competent court of law and have been forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
“It is important to stress that these items are only those that have been condemned properly in the competent court of law and have been forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria. They include food items like rice, vegetable oil, spaghetti and essential items like soap, used clothing materials, mosquito nets, beddings and others.”
Adeniyi said that they learnt some of the IDPs are returning to their communities but lack essential relief items, thus, the customs had taken an initial step to determine the locations of the IDP camps.
The service had initially thought the IDPs camps were only in Borno and Adamawa states, but discovered that there were over 20 of such camps and having discovered this, the service tends to use a different strategy.
“The exercise is going to be slightly different from what we have been doing before because we want these things to end up directly with the end users.This time around, our targets are not the IDPs camps; our targets are the IDPs themselves who are in these camps. We expect that the exercise will take a period of about eight weeks and the trip will start very soon.”