NCS Operatives Raiding a Market of Smuggled Foreign Rice in Adamawa State Photo: File

Customs orders intensive surveillance, border patrols as smuggled rice floods Nigerian markets

*The Nigeria Customs Service has directed Controllers and Unit Heads to collaborate with sister regulatory agencies to strengthen surveillance and patrols at five designated borders notorious for smuggling in the country

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

In connection with the reported massive smuggling of foreign rice into the country’s markets, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has directed its Controllers and Unit Heads to collaborate with sister agencies to strengthen surveillance and patrol at five designated borders.

The NCS listed the affected ones as Kongoram, Babura, Saki, Seme and Owode borders, in Ogun State, that usually aid the nefarious activities of rice smugglers in the country.

U. G. Mohammed, an Acting Assistant Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs, in a recent internal memo urged the Comptrollers and Unit Heads to be alive to their responsibilities, report said.

Mohammed stated they will be personally held liable for the action or inaction of their officers.

He noted: “Following the recent phased reopening of land borders in the nation, there have been myriads of reports on massive smuggling of rice which have since flooded Nigerian markets as reported in several Nigerian dailies with pictorial evidences.

The Service added: “The Comptroller-General frowns on this development as it negates the government’s agricultural policy and portends grave danger to the nation’s economy.

“And therefore remedial measures must be put in place to tackle this dangerous trend, as a matter of urgency.”

It is recalled that Rice Processors Association of Nigeria (RIPAN) recently raised an alarm over the massive smuggling of foreign rice through the aforementioned borders using floaters, boats and trucks.

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