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Customs invade Owerri markets

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AS Christmas draws nearer, the customs, zone C, Owerri has stormed all the markets in Owerri in search of imported rice. Men of the Nigerian customs and exercise attached to federal operations unit, zone C, Owerri under comptroller of Customs, Kayode Olusemire entered into both Ekeukwu Owerri, Relief market, Naze grain and allied market searching store after store where rice are sold demanding N100,000 from each dealer or impound whatever rice they could find, no matter how many bags.

  National light reporter in Owerri who went round these markets said that leadership of rice dealers association of the markets told him that the customs claimed that their action followed instruction from the presidency who raised alarm that irrespective of border closure, foreign rice like Tailara, Cap, Royal Thai, Marori Benz, Tomato Asora and other types of foreign rice have flooded all the markets in the country, including Owerri and charged them to go into the markets and impound every foreign rice they found or alternatively extort sum of five hundred thousand from such dealer.

  When our reporter contacted the Customs Public Relation Department in the zone, the Public Relation Officer, Chioma Onuoha, said she was not competent to speak on the inquiry, she said that such questions should be channeled to the head of operation. On the course of the interview in the market, a rice dealer at Njiribeako Street, Owerri who pleaded anonymity said that the action of this customs has pushed the prices  of even home produced rice that was cheaply bought very high, according to her, home rice like Antelope now sold at high price

of N20,000 (twenty thousand naira) per bag, Jameela – N21,000.00, three brother’s – N21, 500, Umza classic – N22,000, Jigawa – N25,500, Mama’s choice 23,500 even smaller bags of such rice that was sold between N8,000 is now sold for N12,000 respectively.

  According to a whole sales dealer, Anyi foods Ltd, of No. 62 Njiribeako Street Owerri, the customs invasion has further worsened the agonies of Imolites and Nigerians in general. She urged government. to do something in this regard as to mitigate the sufferings of Christian communities who may go for rice purchase for the upcoming Christmas celebration.

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