Customs suspends sale of seized food items over stampede

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has suspended the sale of seized food items after a stampede claimed lives at NCS Old Zonal Headquarters in the Yaba area of Lagos State last Friday.

A spokesperson for the Customs, Abdullahi Maiwada, announced this in a statement on Monday.

The Customs on February 20, 2024 said it would sell seized food items to cushion the hardship and cost of living in the country at a discounted rate.

The Customs disposed food items at its Yaba office last Friday in the presence of other security agencies.

“The disposal of the food items got off to a smooth start at about 0800hrs.


“We enjoyed the cooperation of the large crowd that obliged us, giving preferences to the elderly, people living with disabilities, pregnant women, and other vulnerable Nigerians who showed up for the exercise. This was the case up until about 1700hrs, as attested to by the over 5000 beneficiaries and members of the press.

“However, unforeseen challenges arose when we ran out of stock and announced the continuation of the exercise the following day, leading to a regrettable outcome.

“The crowd became desperate and charged through our barricades in search of rice bags inside emptied containers. In the stampede that ensued, some fatalities and injuries were regrettably recorded.

“Considering the recent unfortunate event, we regrettably announce the suspension of this exercise until we establish what transpired on Friday, 23 February 2024.

“This should help us to properly articulate more robust and comprehensive action that will not defeat the noble intention,” the Service announced.


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