The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) claims to have seized rice worth overN550 billion naira.
Nigerian Customs said the rice were smuggled into the country through borders between January, 2016 and August, 2016.
The Public Relations Officer of the service, Mr. Wale Adeniyi, made this known today while fielding questions from journalists today in Abuja.
According to Adeniyi, “Our seizure on rice from January to August was N597.7 billion.
“This is higher than seized for the same period in 2015 which was estimated to cost N330.5 billion. 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,’’ Adeniyi said.
He said that the volume of rice smuggled into the country through the borders was currently relatively low, adding that more of the commodity were being brought in through the ports