Nigeria Customs Service Suspends Food Distribution After Tragic Stampede

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has temporarily halted its food distribution initiative following a tragic stampede that resulted in seven fatalities on February 23. The incident occurred during the distribution of 25kg bags of rice at the NCS Zonal Headquarters in Yaba, Lagos State. The suspension was announced in a statement by Mr. Abdullahi Maiwada, the National Public Relations Officer of the NCS.

Maiwada stated that the decision to suspend the initiative was made in consideration of the safety of Nigerians. The NCS aims to carefully assess the situation and plan its next steps to avoid compromising the vision of the initiative. The tragic stampede highlighted the need for enhanced safety measures during such distribution events.

The food distribution initiative was introduced by the NCS to address challenges related to food security in Nigeria, coupled with the rising costs of essential food items. The initiative aimed to facilitate the direct disposal of food items forfeited to the Federal Government while benefiting indigents and improving their quality of life.

The distribution of 25kg bags of rice at a discounted price of N10,000 commenced on February 23 in Lagos. However, the unfortunate incident has prompted the NCS to prioritize the safety of citizens and assess the implementation of the initiative to prevent any further incidents.

As the NCS takes steps to evaluate and potentially adjust the food distribution initiative, the focus remains on finding effective ways to support food security in Nigeria and alleviate challenges faced by vulnerable communities.

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