Nigerian Customs Seizes Rice Worth N597billion from Border Smugglers
As said by Mr.Wale Adeniyi,the public relations officer of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS),the worth of smuggled rice seized from the January to August 2016 is N597.7 Billion.
Speaking in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria, he said the worth of the commodity confiscated during the period was higher when compared with N330.5 billion value of the good seized in the same period in 2015.
Adeniyi described the increase in the seizures as an indication that the Customs had been operating with zero tolerance to illegal importation of rice, adding that the service’s rapprochement with its counterpart in the Republic of Benin also facilitated the spate of confiscation of rice along the borders between both countries.
“Our seizure on rice from January to August was N597.7 billion as against N330.5 billion during the same period in 2015; this shows a huge increase. The number of seizures from the statistics shows that smugglers now know that it is no longer profitable to bring in rice through the borders.
“So, since importation of rice is now restricted to the ports as even smugglers with one bag of rice are arrested. We have a number of arrests, particularly those using motorcycles, donkeys and even small vehicles.
“Rice is a bulk cargo imported into Nigeria. After the meeting we had with our colleagues from the Republic of Benin, we went all out on zero tolerance on importation of rice,” he said.
He said the volume of rice coming into the country through the borders was currently relatively low, adding that more of the commodity were being brought in through the ports.