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HomeNewsNigeria Customs Temporarily Halts Food Disposal Initiative Following Tragic Incident

Nigeria Customs Temporarily Halts Food Disposal Initiative Following Tragic Incident

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In a somber announcement, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has temporarily suspended its food disposal initiative after a tragic incident occurred during the pilot exercise on Friday, 23 February 2024.

1.Background of the Initiative:
The initiative, directed by Mr. President, aimed at easing hardships faced by Nigerians by directly disposing of seized edible goods certified fit for consumption. The pilot exercise commenced at NCS Old Zonal Headquarters, Yaba, Lagos state.

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2.Meticulous Planning:
The exercise, meticulously planned to mitigate risks, included the presence of Nigeria Police and military personnel for crowd control. A medical team was also on-site to handle potential health risks during the exercise.

3.Smooth Start and Cooperation:
The disposal began smoothly with the cooperation of a large crowd, prioritizing vulnerable groups. Up until 5:00 PM, over 5000 beneficiaries and the press attested to the orderly conduct.

4.Regrettable Outcome:
Unforeseen challenges arose when the stock ran out, prompting the announcement of a continuation the next day. A desperate crowd breached barricades in search of rice bags, resulting in a regrettable stampede with fatalities and injuries.

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5.Condolences and Investigation:
The NCS extends heartfelt condolences to affected families and initiates an internal investigation. The service assures support to the victims’ families and engages with Hospital Authorities to establish contact.

6.Temporary Suspension and Reflection:
Deeply committed to the welfare and safety of Nigerians, the NCS announces the temporary suspension of the exercise. The internal investigation will provide insights into the unfortunate incident, allowing for a comprehensive and robust plan aligned with the initiative’s noble intention.

Statement by Abdullahi Maiwada:
“As a service deeply committed to the welfare and safety of Nigerians, we recognize the need for heightened sensitivity and preventive measures in all our operations. We appreciate the understanding and cooperation of all Nigerians as we work towards addressing the challenges facing our nation’s food security.”

This announcement reflects the NCS’s commitment to accountability and safety, seeking to rectify the situation and resume the initiative with enhanced measures for the benefit of the Nigerian people.


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