By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The embargo earlier placed on importation of rice through land borders in Nigeria has now been lifted by the Nigerian government.
Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Mr Hameed Ali, directed the immediate removal of rice from import restriction list.
He directed further that payment of import duty on rice brought into Nigeria at land borders should be re-introduced.
According to Mr Ali, the all rice imports through land borders by rice traders would attract the prevailing import duty of 10 per cent with 60 per cent levy.
Public Relations Officer of the NCS, Mr Wale Adeniyi, informed the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in an interview on Wednesday in Abuja that rice millers (preferential levy) with valid quota allocation would also attract duty rate of 10 per cent with 20 per cent levy on rice importation.
He said, “Over the years importation has been restricted to the seaports because border authorities have found it difficult to effectively monitor and control importation of rice.
“When the decision to ban it (rice) was taken it was not an effective measure because smuggling of the product thrives with people using different means of conveyance including small trucks, bicycles and even animals – putting them on donkeys and some actually carry it on their heads.
“These new measures will be for customs to recognise their anti-smuggling operations in the border areas and ensure that all those importers through the borders bring their rice through approved routes and pay their extant duty.”