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The Role Of Nigeria Custom In Food Smuggling, How To Tackle The Menace

By: HighCelebritySquard


The Nationals Bureau of statistics, NBS said Nigeria’s annual inflation rate rose to 29.90 per cent in January 2024 from 28.92 per cent in December 2023.

Of utmost concern to Nigerians is food inflation and according to the report, food inflation rate in January 2024 quickened to 35.41 per cent on a year-on-year basis, which was 11.10 per cent points higher compared to the rate recorded in January 2023 (24.32 per cent).

In 2024 especially, food prices have been on the rise across Nigeria. The situation became more complex as some security agencies are fingered to be responsible for some loopholes that are responsible for the shortages.

Truckloads of grain and other items are reportedly being smuggled out of Nigeria to neighbouring countries through clandestine routes across states even as citizens battle the double whammy of hoarding and soaring food inflation.

Saddled with the responsibility of taking care of what goes in and out of our borders, The Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) is expected to regulate the importation and exportation of goods, including food items, into and out of Nigeria.

The Nigerian Customs Service, according to many Nigerians, is not delivering on its key responsibilities as this is having a big toll on the prices of food in the country. The rise in the prices of food items has prompted the federal government to declare a state of emergency on food security in the country.

The minister of information, Mohammed Idris, noted that the government has decided to open the National Food Reserves as part of the measures to crash food prices.

What then can be employed by the federal government to crash the prices of food and also give breathing space to locally made food items?

The effectiveness of Nigeria Customs in controlling smuggling can influence the prices of locally produced and imported food. The level of these duties can influence the overall cost of imported food products, affecting their retail prices.

Changes in trade policies, including adjustments in tariffs or bans on certain imports, can impact the availability and prices of food items. Customs regulations are often aligned with broader trade policies set by the government

It’s important to note that the relationship between the Nigerian Customs and the price of food is complex and influenced by various domestic and international factors. Changes in customs policies, trade agreements, and economic conditions can impact the overall food market in Nigeria. Additionally, factors such as agricultural practices, local production, and distribution networks also play a crucial role in determining food prices in the country.

Corruption within government agencies, including the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), is a serious concern that can have significant economic and social implications. Tasked with investigating and prosecuting financial crimes, including corruption, The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) can also play a vital role in monitoring the activities of the Nigeria Custom Services.

The Nigerian Customs Service NCS has faced challenges relating to corruption such as bribery, smuggling, mismanagement of funds, and other forms of financial malfeasance.

EFCC has the authority to investigate allegations of corruption within the NCS. When evidence of corrupt practices is found, the EFCC can initiate legal proceedings against individuals involved.

The EFCC employs various strategies to combat corruption, including intelligence gathering, collaboration with other agencies, and public awareness campaigns. The aim is to prevent corruption, investigate cases thoroughly, and prosecute offenders

EFCC also engages in preventive measures to reduce opportunities for corruption. This includes advising government agencies on best practices, promoting transparency, and encouraging the adoption of anti-corruption policies.

EFCC operates within the legal framework provided by Nigerian laws. Legislative support is crucial for the effectiveness of the EFCC in tackling corruption in the Nigerian Customs Service NCS.

Addressing corruption in NCS and other agencies is a multifaceted challenge that requires sustained efforts, institutional reforms, and public support. Both preventive measures and legal actions, as undertaken by the EFCC, play a role in combating corruption within government agencies like the NCS. Regular reviews of anti-corruption strategies, strengthening institutional capacities, and fostering a culture of transparency contribute to long-term success in the fight against corruption.

Though the Nigeria Customs Service has a policy that said that passengers passing through any Nigeria international airports can only be allowed to go through with goods or items with only N50,000 or less current market value, but some overzealous officers had made mockery of the policy with the way and manner the policy is been executed at the airport.

It’s important to note that customs inspections are a standard procedure at international borders and airports, and they are carried out to safeguard national interests and public welfare. While it may be inconvenient for travelers, these inspections are essential for maintaining the integrity of a country’s customs and immigration processes. Travelers are typically expected to cooperate with customs officials and provide accurate information to facilitate a smooth and lawful entry into the country.


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