Customs moves against rice smugglers; receives 150 patrol vans from millers association
• Says Nigeria loses N356bn annually to smuggling
The Rice Millers, Importers and Distributors Association of Nigeria (RIMIDAN) has donated 150 patrol vehicles to the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to combat rice smuggling into the country.
Deputy Comptroller General of Customs (DCG) in charge of Enforcement, Saka Yinusa, disclosed this on Wednesday in Yola while inspecting rice seizures made by the Adamawa/Taraba command.
Yinusa said the service had “rolled out the federal will power against rice smugglers in order to avoid causing damage to government plans and livelihood of some Nigerians”.
“In addition to huge infrastructure provided by the service through the modernisation agenda, the RIMIDAN donated 150 vehicles to the NCS to support the operations of the service and ensure revenue leakages are blocked.
He said that importation of rice into the country was not prohibited by law, but the importation was however prohibited through land borders.
Yinusa said the importation should be through approved seaports to ensure adequate payment of import duties, levies and other charges.
He also disclosed that Nigeria loses an estimated N1 billion on contraband rice daily which translates to N356 billion yearly.
“We are resolute in blocking all leakages, ensure the security of Nigeria and facilitate legitimate trade.
“We will ensure that the Federal Government policy to promote local production of rice is encouraged,” Yinusa said.