Border closure: Lagos Assembly berates seizure of farm produce by customs in Badagry

The Lagos State House of Assembly has berated the continuous seizure of farm produce from the Badagry border community by Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Officers and other security agents.

The House, however, passed a motion calling on Gov Babajide Sanwo-Olu to organise stakeholders meeting between the Customs and business owners of the confiscated goods.

The House also asked the governor to direct the Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mrs Lola Akande, to organise the meeting between the Customs and business owners affected by the seizure.

The resolution of the House followed a motion moved by Mr Setonji David, representing Constituency Badagry II, over the confiscation of farm products by the Customs officers in the area.

Earlier speaking, David said the House should call on Comptroller General of Customs, Hammed Ali, to direct his men to stop further harassment of coconut sellers within Badagry and its environs.

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He said his people were passing through hell with the continuous harassment of members of Lagos State Coconut Sellers and Traders Association by Customs officials in Badagry.

The lawmaker said the Comptroller should direct coordinator, Border Drill Operations Team, Zone A Ikeja, to immediately release the seized two trucks and a pickup load of 1,450 bags of locally sourced coconut.

“On the Oct 27, two trucks and a pick-up carload of 1450 bags of locally sourced coconut on transit was seized by the men of Nigeria Customs Border Drill Operations Zone A Ikeja.

“The seizure took place at the Agbara Customs Point after it had left the popular Agbalata Central Coconut Market beside the Customs base in Badagry.

Commenting, Mr Wasiu Eshinlokun-Sanni, representing Constituency Lagos Island I, said the activities of Customs in Badagry was condemnable and overzealousness on it part.

He said the action of the service could discourage the local farmers from performing their legitimate work in the area.

Also, a member representing Constituency Mushin II, Mr Olayiwola Olawale also rose to support the prime mover of the motion, sympathizing with the affected residents.

Olawale said he was worrisome because the seizure products were not contraband products.

Another member representing Lagos Mainland I, Mr Ajani Owolabi urged relevant authorities to access the local products from the foreign products that had been restricted from coming into the country.

On his part, the Majority Leader, Mr Sanai Agunbiade said the activities of the Customs were affecting the farmers in the area.

Agunbiade said the way people were being harassed shows that something was wrong between the Customs and the business owners of farm products in the area.

In his ruling, the Speaker of the House, directed the Clerk of the House, Mr Azeez Sanni, to communicate the resolution of the House to the governor for further action on the issue.

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