June 13, 2024
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The Federal Government has uncovered 32 routes through which food items are smuggled out of Nigeria.

This, the Vice President, Kashim Shettima, disclosed while making his address at a conference on Public Wealth Management held in Abuja.

Vice President Shettima said on the midnight of Sunday, 45 trucks loaded with maize were intercepted while making their way to neighbouring countries.

What the Vice President is saying Shettima said, “Just three nights ago, 45 trucks of maize were caught being transported to neighbouring countries. Just in that Ilela axis, there are 32 illegal smuggling routes. And the moment those food stuffs were intercepted, the price of maize came down by N10,000. It came down from N60,000 to N50,000.

“So, there are forces that are hell-bent on undermining our nation but this is the time for us to coalesce into a singular entity.’’

The vice president, who acknowledged that Nigeria is passing through turbulent time, assured the people of the country that the pain will not last forever. He, however, condemned a situation whereby some persons fuel the embers of division and violence because of the current situation.

He said, “We have to make this country work. We have to move beyond politics. We are now in the face of governance. Sadly, some of our countrymen are still in the political mode. They are the practitioners of violence, advocating that Nigeria should go the Lebanon way. But, Nigeria is greater than anyone of us here. Nigeria will weather the storm.

“Forces are hell-bent on plunging this country into a state of anarchy. Those who could not get to power through the ballot box, instead for them to wait till 2027, are so desperate.’’

Food smuggling and hoarding a major concern There has been reports of hoarding of food as well as smuggling of these items to neighbouring countries, a development that has become a source of major concern and contributing to the food crisis in the country.

There are reports that 50 trucks conveying foodstuffs out of the country to the Niger Republic were intercepted by the Zamfara State Transport Agency, in response to the recent presidential directive meant to arrest the food crisis and hoarding.

President Bola Tinubu had 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 Nigeria Customs Service had on Sunday intercepted 15 trailers conveying foodstuff through the Sokoto borders to Niger Republic, Also, the Kano State Government sealed 10 warehouses said to be hoarding food items.

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