Lawmakers in the Lagos State House of Assembly on Tuesday decried the incessant seizure of farm products like coconuts from Badagry border community by men of the Nigeria Customs Service and other security agents.
The lawmakers also urged Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu to direct the state Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mrs Lola Akande, to organise stakeholders’ meeting between the Customs officials and owners of the seized goods.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the House’s resolution followed a motion moved by Mr Setonji David, representing Constituency Badagry II, over confiscation of farm products by the customs officers in the area.
David had, in his motion, called on the Comptroller-General of Customs, Hammed Ali, to direct his men to stop further harassment of coconut sellers within Badagry and its environs.
The assemblyman said that his people were “passing through hell” with the continuous harassment of members of the Lagos State Coconut Sellers and Traders Association by customs officials in Badagry.
He said the comptroller-general should direct the Coordinator, Border Drill Operations Team, Zone ‘A’ Ikeja, to immediately release the seized two trucks and pickup load of 1,450 bags of locally sourced coconut.
“On Oct. 27, two trucks and a pick-up car load of 1,450 bags of locally sourced coconuts on transit was seized by men of the 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 Coconuts Market beside the Customs base in Badagry,” David said.
Contributing, Mr Wasiu Eshinlokun-Sanni, representing Lagos Island I Constituency, said that the activities of customs in Badagry was condemnable.
Eshinlokun-Sanni said that the action of the service could discourage the local farmers from performing their legitimate works in the area.
Also, Mr Olayiwola Olawale, representing Mushin II Constituency, spoke in support of the motion, sympathising with the affected residents and traders.
Olawale said that incessant seizure of farm products, not contrabands, from genuine farmers by customs officials was worrisome.
On his part, Mr Sanai Agunbiade, representing Ikorodu I Constituency, said that activities of the customs men were affecting farmers in the area.
Agunbiade said the way people were being harassed showed that something was wrong between the customs and owners of farm products in the area.
In his ruling, Speaker of the House, Mudashiru Obasa, directed the Clerk, Mr Azeez Sanni, to communicate the House’s resolution to the state governor for further action on the issue.