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April 14, 2024

Zamfara Transport Agency Intercepts 50 Niger Republic-bound Food Trucks

Fifty trucks conveying foodstuffs out of Nigeria to the Niger Republic had been intercepted on Monday by the Zamfara State Transport Agency.

Enforcing a presidential directive meant to arrest the food crisis and hoarding, the agency grounded the trucks loaded with assorted grains.

It should be recalled that President Bola Tinubu last Thursday ordered the trio of the National Security Adviser Nuhu Ribadu, the Inspector-General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, and the Director-General of the Department of State Services, Yusuf Bichi, to collaborate with state governors and go after those hoarding foodstuff.

The President made the decision during a meeting with the governors in Abuja on the current food crisis triggered by the hikes in transportation costs after the fuel subsidy removal and the inability of farmers to harvest their crops because of bandits and kidnappers.

However, on Sunday, the Nigeria Customs Service said it stopped 15 trailers conveying foodstuff through the Sokoto borders to Niger Republic.

The Kano State Government also sealed 10 warehouses said to be hoarding food items.

While confirming the interception of the 50 trucks in Zamfara, the spokesman for ZARTO, Sale Shinkafi, alleged that the trucks were attempting to smuggle the food items to the Niger Republic.

His words: “Our men intercepted 50 vehicles loaded with assorted grains while trying to smuggle them out of the country. We directed the owners to go back and sell the commodities to Nigerians at the appropriate prices.”

The trucks, Shinkafi elaborated, were not accompanied by the agency’s officials but were only directed to return to their respective localities and sell the commodities at affordable prices.

He said, “You know that our main concern is to make sure that the food items are not smuggled out of the country. We only refused to allow them to get into the Niger Republic.”

Commenting on the smuggling of food items out of the country, the All Farmers Association of Nigeria blamed wholesalers.

AFAN said the wholesalers were purchasing large quantities of food from local farmers and clandestinely taking these products to countries such as Niger, Cameroon, and others.

The National President of All Farmers Association of Nigeria, Kabir Ibrahim however lauded the Nigerian Customs Service for recently intercepting trucks of food.

He recommended that smugglers should be prosecuted and be made to serve life imprisonment.

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