Rice imports remain banned through the land borders - Customs

Contrary to earlier unauthorised online media reports that the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has lifted the ban on importation of rice through land borders, it said at the weekend that the ban remains and may be outright in 2017.

The National Public Relations Officer of Customs and Deputy Comptroller, Wale Adeniyi, made the statement while describing the misinformation as the handiwork
of those who wish to cause confusion in the public.

"Rice remains banned through our land borders and we have the commitment of partnering other government agencies and stakeholders to enforce this restriction.

"The restriction is still in place; while this restriction is in force, rice imports through the ports are still allowed subject to payment of extant charges.

"It is worrisome that the publications that resurfaced this weekend were being attributed to a press interview granted in October 2015. 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.

"It has become necessary to restate the true position in view of the confusion which these online publications may create in the industry. It is even more expedient to provide this clarification given the fact that the Service has taken a firm position earlier in the week through a joint press conference with stakeholders.

"It is equally important to restate the confidence of the Nigeria Customs Service in the ability of Nigerian Rice Producers to fill the existing sufficiency gaps in the supply of the product," he stated.

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