The Agric and Non-Oil Export Group of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has urged the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to improve its publicity in creating awareness in the fight against importation of smuggled goods particularly poultry products.
Chairman of the Group, Prince Wale Oyekoya, who spoke in a chat with SHIPS & PORTS DAILY, said that increased public awareness on the health hazards of consuming imported poultry products will discourage consumers from patronising smugglers of the products.
“The information dissemination is not there for people to be aware that what they are eating is deadly. You can’t just go and be seizing products when you have not given people consuming it better information about it. Most consumers just buy, they don’t even know what they are eating is being preserved with formalin. If Customs can stop the customers patronizing them, the smugglers will have no business bringing it if there are nobody to buy,” he said.
Oyekoya, who accused personnel of the NCS of alleged connivance with smugglers, lamented that, despite the increasing number of the products being intercepted, they still find their way into the Nigerian market through the borders, thus killing local production.
He stated: “The fight against smuggled frozen products is not really effective, because of the way Customs and the Federal Government are handling it. How did most of the products get out of the border? If you go to any market, the frozen products are what you will find. Customs has not been proactive in waging the war against smuggling of poultry products. They only arrest people who will not settle them and publicise it. That is the way I see it.”