Niger Republic has banned the exportation of rice to Nigeria following the closure of nation’s borders.
This was disclosed by the Comptroller-General of Customs, Hameed Ali, at a press briefing in Abuja on Monday.
He said, “The government, through diplomatic channels will continue to engage our neighbours to agree to comply with ECOWAS Protocol on transit. Goods that are on the prohibition list in Nigeria, such as rice, used clothes, poultry products and vegetable oil should not be exported to the country.
“As a result of this border closure, Niger Republic has already circulated an order banning exportation of rice in any form to Nigeria.”
In August, Nigeria shut its land borders against Niger and Benin Republics, an action President Muhammadu Buhari said was taken to checkmate smuggling.
Speaking when he met Patrice Talon, his Beninois counterpart, on the sidelines of the seventh Tokyo International Conference for African Development (TICAD7), in Yokohama, Japan, in August, Buhari had said smuggling was a threat to his administration’s agricultural policies.
“Now that our people in the rural areas are going back to their farms, and the country has saved huge sums of money which would otherwise have been expended on importing rice using our scarce foreign reserves, we cannot allow smuggling of the product at such alarming proportions to continue,” Buhari had said.
President Buhari said the closure was to allow Nigeria’s security forces develop a strategy on how to “stem the dangerous trend and its wider ramifications”.