Long Queues, Chaos as Nigerians Jostle to Buy Customs Palliative Rice

There was chaos and confusion on Friday at the Nigeria Customs Office in Yaba when what was supposed to be a gesture of assistance from the government, the distribution of 25kg bags of rice, turned into an unpleasant scene, leaving many citizens frustrated and struggling.

The Comptroller-General of the NCS, Adewale Adeniyi, had said the process for the sale of the food items had been perfected such that a form with all the details of the applicant, including the National Identification Number, NIN, would be submitted and a bar code generated for the collection of the commodity.

However, the desperation to avoid being left out has led to people losing their belongings.

One person who spoke to Vanguard expressed his frustration with the process, saying, “I regret coming here today. I got here at 6:00 am, but I’m yet to buy the promised rice. Is this the government’s idea of help? I came here with shoes and a wristwatch, but everything was gone, and I didn’t even get the rice to buy.

“This is just suffering for nothing; in my life, I won’t do it again.”

This seemed to be a shared sentiment as another hopeful buyer who is also a student and identified himself as Abdulramon stated that he arrived at 10:00 am and, as at 2:25 pm, was still unable to secure a bag of rice.

“The queue was moving until people scattered it. If Nigerians had followed the instructions to stay in line, we wouldn’t be experiencing this,” remarked Abdulramon.

“If you are not strong, you cannot come here. It’s survival of the fittest,” emphasized Abdulramon.