Ban on rice imports through land borders still in force, NCS insists

Posted by News Express | 10 October 2016 | 1,668 times

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The Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) has reiterate its position that importation of rice remains banned through the land borders even with the commitment of partner government agencies and stakeholders to enforce the restriction, while imports through the ports are still allowed subject to payment of extant charges.

The NCS in a statement issued on Sunday by its Public relations Officer, Wale Adeniyi, expressed concern over recent media reports indicating that the NCS has reversed the ban on rice importation through the land borders.

NCS said in the statement: “It has become necessary to re-state 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 that 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. The Service has noted with satisfaction the ongoing Rice Revolution undertaken by many State Governments, and Strategic Interventions by Federal Government Agencies. 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.”

The NCS also stated that it is worrisome that the publications “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,” urging Nigerians to watch out for similar antics.

Source: News Express

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