Fruit and Vegetable Growers and Marketers Association of Nigeria has protested an allege confiscation of their products worth N 4 million by operatives of the Nigeria Custom.
The Association, under the aegis of Yewa – Awori Farm Produce Traders and Farmers Association staged the protest on Monday, August 26, 2019 at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Secretariat in Abeokuta, the State capital, describing the confiscation as illegal.
They said that the products, majorly tomatoes and peppers 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 impounded products were confiscates on Sunday, August 25 lamenting that the Custom Officials have started selling them at auction
According to him, “A basket of the pepper cost N 2000 and they impounded eight vehicles. There were 250 basket in each vehicle.”
The protesters with different placards depicting various inscriptions such as “Custom want to kill us”, “Save us from custom”, “We are Nigerians, save us” among others.
Eweoba said “Some of our traders, while on the way to the market, the Customer 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.
The Public Relations Officer could not be reached as of the time of filing this report.