A former Director of Press, Federal Ministry of Information, Peter Dama, says up to 100 truckloads of rice are smuggled across land borders into Nigeria, with connivance of corrupt customs officials.
In a letter to the Comptroller-General of Nigerian Customs Services, dated April 9, he said the smuggling will threaten the gains of local rice production so far recorded in the country.
Dama said over 100 truckloads of smuggled rice are off-loaded daily in big markets in Kano, Jos, Abuja, Lafiya and Katsina states.
Dama, owner of Swomen Dama farms, in Plateau state lamented that as a result of these illegal activities, jobs and investment at the rice mills and farms are threatened.
“l believe that some bad eggs within the Nigerian Customs Service and few terrible Nigerians are conniving with these smugglers to frustrate the efforts of Federal Government in attaining its food security drive.
“I am therefore calling on the authorities as a matter of urgency to intensify border patrol and raid stores and warehouses harbouring smuggled rice,” he said.
Dama wants smugglers caught circumventing the laws to be executed.