The Lagos State House of Assembly on Tuesday condemned the continuous seizure of farm products from Badagry border community by men of the Nigeria Customs Service and other security agents.
The House, however, passed a motion calling on Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to organise stakeholders meeting between the Nigeria Customs and owners of the confiscated goods.
The House also called on the governor to direct the Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Hon. Lola Akande, to organise a meeting between the Customs and business owners affected by the seizure.
The resolution of the House followed a motion moved by Hon. Setonji David, representing Badagry Constituency 2 over the confiscation of farm products by officers of the Nigeria Customs in the area.
In the motion, David 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.
He said that his people were passing through hell with the continuous harassment of members of Lagos State Coconut Sellers and Traders Association by Customs officials in Badagry.
The lawmaker said that the Comptroller General should direct the coordinator of Border Drill Operations Team, Zone A Ikeja, to immediately release the seized two trucks and a pickup load of 1,450 bags of locally sourced coconut.
“On 27 October, two trucks and a pick-up car loaded with 1450 bags of locally sourced coconut on transit were seized by the men of Nigeria Customs Border Drill Operations Zone A Ikeja.
“The seizure took place at Agbara Customs Point, after it had left the popular Agbalata Central Coconut Market beside the Customs base in Badagry,” he said.
Commenting on the matter, the Deputy Speaker of the House, Hon. Wasiu Eshinlokun-Sanni, representing Lagos Island Constituency I said that the activities of Customs in Badagry was condemnable and that they were overzealous.
He said that the action of officers of Customs Service could discourage local farmers from performing their legitimate work in the area.
Also, Hon. Olayiwola Olawale, representing Mushin Constituency II supported the motion, while sympathizing with the affected traders.
Olawale said that the issue was worrisome because the seized items were not contraband products.
Hon. Ajani Owolabi, representing Lagos Mainland I urged relevant authorities to access local products instead of foreign products that had been restricted from coming into the country.
On his part, the Majority Leader of the House, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade, representing Ikorodu Constituency I said that the activities of officers of Customs Service were affecting the farmers in the area.
Agunbiade said that the way people were being harassed showed that something was wrong between Customs officers and traders in farm products in the area.
In his ruling, the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa directed the Clerk of the House, Mr. Azeez Sanni, to communicate the resolution of the House to the Governor for further action on the issue.