Customs Re-Introduces Restriction Order Over Rice Smuggling | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Customs Re-Introduces Restriction Order Over Rice Smuggling

Posted: Mar 23, 2016 at 3:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Emmanuel Udom & Andrew Utulu,  Lagos


The Nigeria Customs Service has re-introduced the restriction order on importation of rice through land borders across the country.

Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd) gave the approval for the reversal of an earlier policy in October 2015, which allowed rice imports through the land borders, once appropriate duty and charges were paid.

A statement issued by Wale Adeniyi, Customs image maker said that a view session was held with comptrollers of border commands and Federal Operation Units in Abuja.

He noted that the dwindling revenue from rice imports through the land borders do not match the volume of  rice landing at the neighboring ports,  which indicate an upsurge in the tempo of rice smuggling around the border commands.

Ali said: “Implementation of the restriction order got off to a smooth start, with a high level of compliance in October 2015, but revenue started dwindling from January 2016, with importers blaming access to forex impediment”

During the five-month period when the importation was allowed October 2015-March 17th 2016, a total of 24.992 metric tonnes of rice valued at N 2.3 billion was imported through the land borders.

The Customs boss, however, noted that his officers and men cannot be totally exonerated from the abuse associated with the implementation of the order on rice, as his office has been inundated with reports of collusion between them and Rice importers.

He has directed investigation into the reports, insisting that indicted personnel will be sanctioned.