Monday, August 26, 2019 10:27 pm
Fruit and Vegetable Growers and Marketers Association of Nigeria, Ogun State Chapter, has lamented and protested over the confiscation of their products which they said are worth millions of naira by operatives of the Nigeria Custom Service in Ogun State.
The Association, under the aegis of Yewa – Awori Farm Produce Traders and Farmers Association, staged a protest to the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Secretariat in Abeokuta, during which they described the confiscation of their products as illegal and unfair as they are not engaged in smuggling.
They said that the farm products, mainly tomatoes and pepper were impounded in Ijoun, Yewa area of the State.
Ijoun is a border town between Nigeria and Benin Republic.
The chairman of the association, Mr Eweoba Timothy, told journalists that the seized products were confiscated on Sunday, and that Custom Officials have started selling the tomatoes and peppers at auction sales of N50 per basket
According to him, “A basket of the pepper cost N 2000 and eight vehicles which contains 250 baskets each were seized.”
The protesters carried different placards depicting various inscriptions such as “Custom want to kill us”, “Save us from custom”, No Farmers No Nation”,among others.
Eweoba said “Some of our traders, while on the way to the market, the Custom officials impounded their goods and now selling the goods at auction at their head office. The impounded farm produce are tomatoes and pepper.”
He added, “They (Custom officials ) said it was a directive from the Federal government to impound all the tomatoes and peepers planted here in Nigeria.
“None of these farm produce were not imported, they were all planted here in Nigeria. They are local tomatoes and peppers”.
“They were impounded yesterday around 8:00 pm and the customs officers have started selling them. We want the government to come to our aid, we are farmers, not smugglers. These goods are not rice, they are tomatoes and peppers.”
He spoke amidst sobriety “We took loan to plant all these things”
They however appealed to the federal government to redress the illegal acts by custom officials.