The Jigawa command of the Nigeria customs service has seized 377 bags of foreign rice worth over four million naira in the Shuwarin area of Jigawa state, northwestern Nigeria.
The Comptroller in charge of the command, Mathias Anthony Abutu in a media briefing said the prohibited bags of rice were concealed deep inside the truck and covered by some made in Nigeria items such as sugar, furniture and used tires on the surface level to deceive operatives of the service but were not successful.
“It was to give the impression that they were coming from a Nigerian market and going to another town. They were arrested somewhere in Shuwarin very close to Dutse the capital of Jigawa state.”
“We have been able to make an arrest of 377 bags of foreign rice 50kg, with the total paid duty value for that is N4, 167,825.45.”
The comptroller said there was no need for the importation of foreign rice to Nigeria again since the local ones are available in enough quantity with more nutritious value.
“But if you decide to waste your money and you import the foreign one we will seize it and you will lose your money,” warned the comptroller
He said the command has been making similar arrests especially by the CG compliance team but this is the biggest one involving a trailer, adding that the warehouse of the command is filled with similar seizures and an extra job will be done to accommodate the recently seized ones.
“We have 6,143 bags of rice apart from other seized items that are in our warehouse”, stressed the comptroller.
On what is going to happen to the contraband rice, Comptroller said it has been reported to the headquarters.
“there were instances in the year 2016 where 4,220 bags of seized bags of rice were taken from the store of the command and given to the Internally Displaced People’s camp here in Kano for free”, explained Abutu
Nigeria had banned the importation of rice through the land border and increased tariff of the same product by 60 percent in a policy implemented at the end of 2016.
The policy is meant to help the production of the crop in Nigeria which she spends billions of dollars importing the cereal crop.
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