Customs Lifts Ban on Rice Importation

By Ikenga Chronicles October 9, 2016

Customs Lifts Ban on Rice Importation

The Federal Government has reversed the earlier ban on the importation of rice on land borders, and thereby removed it from the Import Restriction list. The Public Relations Officer of the agency, Mr Wale Adeniyi announced the order handed down by the Comptroller General, Ahmadu Alli on Wednesday.

Mr Adeniyi said the lift now meant that people could import price through regular routes and pay the required import duties and levies.

Speaking further, he decried the failure of the ban over the years due to sharp practices especially smuggling activities.

“Over the years importation has been restricted to the seaports because border authorities have found it difficult to effectively monitor and control importation of rice.” When the decision to ban it (rice) was taken it was not an effective measure because smuggling of the product thrives with people using different means of conveyance including small trucks, bicycles and even animals – putting them on donkeys and some actually carry it on their heads.’

“These new measures will be for customs to re-organise their anti-smuggling operations in the border areas and ensure that all those importers through the borders bring their rice through approved routes and pay their extant duty,” he said.

It will be recalled that the ban of Nigeria’s top staple food, in the absence of sufficient local production, had hit the citizenry hard, with prices rising from N12,000 to as much as N24,000 in some states, while the cup formerly sold for between N50 and N60 went as far as N150 in some places.

This reversal will be a breath of fresh air as it will not only provide food for a starving populace, but it will also raise money for a recession-hit economy that needs every kobo it can get to pull through.

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