Customs seize N196m smuggled poultry in nine weeks

By 10:09 Thu, 01 Oct 2015 Comments

Cartons of seized frozen Turkey by Nigeria Customs Service

The Nigeria Customs Service has seized imported poultry worth over N196.063m in nine weeks of special operation against the smuggling of frozen poultry into the country.

The NCS had in June launched the Operation Hawk Descend, which was expected to extend up till September, a period of three months.

A statement by the Deputy Public Relations Officer, NCS, Joseph Attah, said the products were impounded at different locations along the south western borders of Nigeria.

These include Badagry/Yekeme and Seme Ashipa creeks in Badagry Seme axis. Others locations include Seme, Gbaji and Owode creeks in Lagos and Idiroko axis.

A breakdown of the seizure showed that the highest was made in the fifth week of the operation with 13,960 cartons of poultry worth N45,470,441 confisticated.

The Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hammed Ali (retd), while reaffirming the Service’s commitment to arresting and prosecuting anyone caught in the act of smuggling, said all sources of revenue leakage would be appropriately blocked.

Ali said, “Every act of economic sabotage, including false declaration, deliberate misapplication of the tariff, undervaluation and concealment shall be dealt with decisively.

“I call on all stakeholders to support the Service in order to achieve its mandate and the Federal Government’s resolve to boost the economy and create job opportunities for the youth.”

Meanwhile, the President, Poultry Association of Nigeria, Onallo Akpan, has said the demand for local poultry in the country had risen by 30 per cent.

Although he did not provide detailed statistics on the volume of poultry being produced locally, he attributed the rise to the recent campaign by the NCS against the importation of chicken and turkey.

Akpan, in an interview with our correspondent, said the association was beginning to feel the positive effects of the campaign as the demand for its members’ products had begun to rise.

He said, “The demand for local chicken has gone up by 30 per cent. With this new development, a lot of farms now are doubling their production capacities. All formerly underutilised farms are now being engaged because there is demand.

“If this campaign can be sustained over a year or longer, our capacity will grow by more than 1,000 per cent. This is because if you double your production today and there is still demand, you can continue to multiply capacity. The multiplier effect is that so many people will be engaged; farms will be patronised and the volume of businesses in the economy will increase.”

Akpan, however, denied insinuation that indigenous poultry farmers had increased the prices of their products so as to take advantage of the ban on poultry imports.

Following the commencement of the campaign, The PUNCH had exclusively reported that the prices of foreign poultry had risen by 28.5 per cent, while those of locally reared birds had gone up by about 25 per cent.

Akpan explained, “The price of local chicken has not increased. It is the middlemen who buy them because of the squeeze on imported chicken and the resultant demand on the local one that have raised the prices.”



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