Customs suspends food disposal over stampede, condole with families 

Customs suspends food disposal over stampede, condole with families 

By Faith Awa Maji

The Nigeria Customs Service, NCS has announced the temporary suspension of food disposal initiative.

The action was not unconnected to a stampede while distributing the commodity to the Nigerians as directed by President Bola Tinubu.

Details contained in a statement by the NCS National Public Relations Officer, Abdullahi Maiwada below. 


1.  It will be recalled that the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), on the directive of Mr. President, announced the commencement of a noble intervention aimed at alleviating the hardships faced by Nigerians and improving access to essential food items through direct disposal of seized edible goods condemned in competent courts of law and certified fit for consumption by relevant government agencies. Consequently, a pilot exercise was conducted on Friday, 23 February 2024, at NCS Old Zonal Headquarters, Yaba, Lagos State. 

2.  The exercise was conducted following meticulous planning to address all potential risks that may emerge during the exercise. As part of our process and control measures, we had Nigeria Police and military personnel to ensure crowd control. We also fully equipped a medical team on ground in anticipation of potential risks during an exercise of that magnitude. Their presence was part of our proactive approach to ensuring the safety and well-being of all participants. 

3.  The disposal of the food items got off to a smooth start at about 0800hrs. We enjoyed the cooperation of the large crowd that obliged us, giving preferences to the elderly, people living with disabilities, pregnant women, and other vulnerable Nigerians who showed up for the exercise. This was the case up until about 1700hrs, as attested to by the over 5000 beneficiaries and members of the press. 

4.       However, unforeseen challenges arose when we ran out of stock and announced the continuation of the exercise the following day, leading to a regrettable outcome. The crowd became desperate and charged through our barricades in search of rice bags inside emptied containers. In the stampede that ensued, some fatalities and injuries were regrettably recorded. 

5.  The Nigeria Customs Service extends its heartfelt condolences to the families of those who lost their lives during the unfortunate incident. Our thoughts and prayers are with the affected families during this challenging time, and we assure them of our unwavering support. We are working with Hospital Authorities to establish contact and engage directly with the victims’ families on their next steps. Following this incident, an internal investigation was initiated to understand the circumstances surrounding this unfortunate event. 

6.  As a service deeply committed to the welfare and safety of Nigerians, we recognize the need for heightened sensitivity and preventive measures in all our operations. Considering the recent unfortunate event, we regrettably announce the suspension of this exercise until we establish what transpired on Friday, 23 February 2024. This should help us to properly articulate more robust and comprehensive action that will not defeat the noble intention. We appreciate the understanding and cooperation of all Nigerians as we work towards addressing the challenges facing our nation’s food security. 


Chief Superintendent of Customs

National Public Relations Officer

for Comptroller General of Customs

26 February 2024

Related Posts

FIIRO’s Day @2023 STI EXPO: Minister Commends DG, Says Reasons for Establishing Institute Justified

Faith Maji's Blog

FG Inaugurates Erosion Control Projects in Bauchi

Faith Maji's Blog

NASENI Energy Boss Tasks Governors, OPS on Solar-powered Electricity Generation

Faith Maji's Blog

Why Dr. Habiba Lawal Deserves National Honour – Former HoS, SGF, Yayale Ahmed

Faith Maji's Blog

Edo Tech/Innovation Expo: Okodugha Says State Endowed with Bright Minds

Faith Maji's Blog

President Tinubu appoints new CBN Gov, management team

Faith Maji's Blog

Fuel Subsidy Removal: Nasarawa flags-off distribution of FG, State palliatives

Faith Maji's Blog

Ofuje Oguns, 3 Other 1st Class Graduates Bag Automatic Employment into Edo Civil Service 

Faith Maji's Blog

Road Infrastructure, Catalyst for Nigeria’s National Development – Fashola

Faith Maji's Blog

Leave a Comment

* By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website.