The Federal Government said on Tuesday that it has so far stopped 141 trucks trying to smuggle grains and other necessities into the Niger Republic, Chad, Cameroon, and the Central African Republic as part of ongoing efforts to address the food inflation and cost of living crisis.

According to Nigeria Customs Service Comptroller-General Bashir Adeniyi, the agency has apprehended approximately 120 trucks that were smuggling food items out of the country in the last two weeks, and on Tuesday, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission stopped 21 food trucks from leaving the nation.

Truck drivers, who have been the targets of attacks by thugs, had threatened to declare a strike if the situation persisted, during the CG’s Tuesday disclosure of the measures being implemented to ensure food security at the House of Representatives in Abuja.

A number of trucks and warehouses, primarily belonging to manufacturers and other members of the organized private sector, have been targeted by criminals as the nation’s food inflation and cost of living crisis worsened.

In the Suleja region of Niger State, last week, a group of young people stole food items from trucks that were stopped in traffic on the Kaduna Road.

Hoodlums looted rice, grains, and other relief supplies from an Agricultural and Rural Development Secretariat warehouse in the Dei-Dei neighborhood of the capital city on Sunday. The warehouse is owned by the Federal Capital Territory Administration.

In addition, a large group of miscreants broke into another warehouse in the Idu Industrial Estate in Jabi, Abuja, only to be driven back by the security personnel stationed there.

On Saturday and Sunday, respectively, a different group of young people attacked trucks carrying spaghetti and building supplies in the states of Ogun and Kaduna.

Aware of this unsavory development, the organized private sector issued a warning that the attacks might force the closure of businesses nationwide.

President Bola Tinubu issued an order for the arrested trucks to be diverted to the local markets in the area where they were arrested in order to drive down the prices of grains and other food items, according to Customs CG Adeniyi, who briefed the federal lawmakers on the enforcement of the Presidential directive to curtail food smuggling during the sectoral debate series.

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