Customs Bans Importation Of Rice

Bags of rice SEIZED by Nigeria Customs Service. Photograph: royaltimes.net
Bags of rice SEIZED by Nigeria Customs Service. Photograph: royaltimes.net

Following the allegations of collusion between Nigeria Customs Service officials and rice importers, which led to the loss of revenue, the Comptroller-General of the Service, Hameed Ali, has directed the reversal of the policy that from October 2015 allowed importation of rice through the country’s land borders.




     

     

    According to a statement by the Service’s spokesperson, Wale Adeniyi, it was discovered that there was reduction in revenue from the imports which did not match the quantity of rice that came into the country through the land borders, while reports from different border commands showed an increase in the spate of smuggling.

    “During the five-month period when the importation was allowed October 2015-March 17th 2016, a total of 24.992 Metric Tonnes of Rice valued at N 2, 335,131,093 (Two Billion, Three Hundred and Thirty Five Million, One Hundred and Thirty One Thousand and Ninety Three Naira) was imported through the land borders.

    “During the period, total revenue generated amounted to N 1,685,112,810 (One Billion, Six Hundred and Eighty, Five Million One Hundred and Twelve thousand, Eight Hundred and Ten Naira Only). This is considerably lower than the revenue projected to be generated with the removal of import restrictions. However, an upsurge in the number of the seizures has been reported across the land borders since January 2016. In the first two months of the 2016, a total of 9238 bags were seized, with Duty Paid Value of  N64,666,000 was made by the Customs anti-smuggling patrol teams of  Federal operations and Border commands,” the statement said.

    Ali, the statement said, has also ordered an investigation with a view to identifying the culpability of the Customs personnel. He added, however, that while the restriction order would take immediate effect, there would be a grace period till March 25 for those who had already initiated the process of importation to clear their products.

     

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