An agricultural firm, SGL Farms has accused the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) of disrupting its farming operations, thereby hindering its massive rice project.
Managing Director/CEO of SGL Farms, Mr. Oluwaseun Adegoke made the allegation during a press briefing in Lagos.
According to Adegoke, men of the Customs service, due to their constant harassment, stalled operations at its rice farm worth about N1 billion.
This, he said, has led to the firm losing millions of naira whilst putting the jobs of over 1,000 workforces at risk.
He specifically blamed the Federal Operating Unit (FOU) Zone A, of the NCS for their present unfavorable condition.
He said, “Our problem with the Customs started January 2021 when we wanted to relocate our rice paddy due to failed irrigation facility at our farm in Anigbado, Yewa North, LGA, Ogun State.
“We brought in the rice seeds in November last year to the farm from Kebbi State to Lagos State hitch-free.
“But when the study came out that the rice paddy would not yield very well on the farm, our farm extension officers advised us to plant the seeds at a suitable location at Gbakogi in Niger State, in anticipation of planting during the dry season.
“Consequently, as we were making effort to move the rice seed to the better location, men of Nigeria Customs swooped on our farm and stopped the entire operations; their actions have stopped us from two planting seasons this year.”
Adegoke further revealed that the Nigerian Customs purported that the paddy was not Nigerian grown even after all necessary documents presented proved otherwise.
He said the paddy rice was gotten from Ogun, Kaduna and Oyo States.
In its response, the FOU, Zone A, however, claimed ignorance of the incident.
Public Relations Officer of the FOU, Zone A, Theophilus Duniyan said, “SGL Farms should forward their complaint formally to the Unit Headquarters. The office is not aware of it.”
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