Zamfara Authorities Intercept 50 Trucks Headed to Niger Republic with Food Supplies

Zamfara Authorities Intercept 50 Trucks Headed to Niger Republic with Food Supplies

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The Zamfara State Transport Agency made a significant interception on Monday, halting fifty trucks loaded with assorted foodstuffs en route to the Niger Republic. Acting on a presidential directive aimed at curbing food crises and hoarding, the agency grounded the trucks, which were ferrying various grains.

Last Thursday, President Bola Tinubu issued orders to top security officials, including the National Security Adviser Nuhu Ribadu, Inspector-General of Police Kayode Egbetokun, and Director-General of the Department of State Services Yusuf Bichi, to collaborate with state governors in cracking down on hoarders of food items. This directive came amidst concerns over escalating food prices due to increased transportation costs following the removal of fuel subsidies and challenges faced by farmers in harvesting their crops due to security threats.

In a related development, the Nigeria Customs Service reported on Sunday that it intercepted fifteen trailers transporting foodstuff through Sokoto borders destined for Niger Republic. Similarly, the Kano State Government took action by sealing off ten warehouses suspected of hoarding food items.

Shehu Sani, a resident of Zurmi town in Zurmi Local Government Area of Zamfara State, confirmed the interception of the fifty trucks near the Nigerian borders with Niger Republic. According to him, the vehicles were stopped at Gidan Jaja village.

Spokesman for ZARTO, Sale Shinkafi, alleged that the trucks were attempting to smuggle the food items out of the country. The agency instructed the truck owners to sell the commodities within Nigeria at appropriate prices.

Shinkafi clarified that the trucks were not escorted by agency officials but were directed to return to their respective localities and sell the commodities domestically.

Meanwhile, the All Farmers Association of Nigeria attributed the smuggling of food items abroad to wholesalers, accusing them of purchasing large quantities of food from local farmers and clandestinely exporting them to neighboring countries.

Shakin Agbayewa, Vice Chairman of AFAN Lagos State chapter, condemned the practice, stating that it not only deprived the local market of essential food supplies but also undermined the efforts of Nigerian farmers. He called for enhanced oversight and regulatory measures to address these exploitative practices and safeguard the interests of local farmers.

Kabir Ibrahim, National President of AFAN, commended the Nigeria Customs Service for intercepting trucks of food and recommended stringent penalties, including prosecution and life imprisonment, for smugglers.

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