FG To Ban Rice Importation By 2017

FG To Ban Rice Importation By 2017
Col. Hameed Ali, CG of Nigeria Customs Service

The federal government of Nigeria is planning to outrightly ban the importation of rice into the country from 2017.
The Nigeria Customs Service revealed this in a press release issued last week on the controversies surrounding the importation of rice.
According to the Service, the importation of rice would be banned in 2017 because the federal government is convinced that with the ongoing rice revolution in many state governments and the strategic interventions by federal government agencies, bumper harvests are expected to address the supply gap in 2017.
“The Service is convinced that the bumper harvests expected from these efforts will address the supply gap in 2017. It is our belief that continuous waste of scarce forex on a commodity that can be produced locally makes no economic sense, most especially at a period of recession. The Service will therefore advocate a total ban on rice Importation into Nigeria with effect from 2017”
“We strongly suspect that some powerful forces behind rice smuggling are at work, recycling an old report under a different circumstance to create confusion. We urge Nigerians to watch out for similar antics as the firm stand on rice smuggling will pitch their selfish interest against our national interest”, the report said.
However, the Service reiterated that importation of rice remains banned through land borders, stating that it had the commitment government agencies and stakeholders to enforce this restriction.
While this restriction is in force, the Customs Service said that rice imports through the ports are still allowed subject to payment of extant charges.
The press release was reacting to publications on various online platforms indicating that the Nigeria Customs Service has reversed the ban on rice importation through the land borders, and it was signed by the Service Public Relations Officer, Deputy-Comptroller Wale Adeniyi.

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