FG Mulls Shutting Land Borders over Rice Smuggling

May 30, 2017
FG Mulls Shutting Land Borders over Rice Smuggling

FG Mulls Shutting Land Borders over Rice Smuggling

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Audu Ogbeh, has disclosed that if the smuggling of rice continues from neighbouring countries, then the Federal Government would be left with no other option than to shut some of its land borders.

Mr Ogbeh lamented that the smuggling of rice into Nigeria through the neighbouring countries has frustrated the growth of local rice production in the country.

He said the Federal Government was determined to achieve its goal of self-sufficiency in rice by 2018 and that this would not be frustrated by smugglers, no matter what.

While addressing newsmen yesterday on the achievement of his Ministry in the last two year, the Minister said smugglers were working to sabotage this target.

“We believe they are determined to sabotage the efforts that we are making to guarantee self-sufficiency in rice and to save foreign exchange which we don’t have.

“They insist on bringing in rice through the land borders, avoiding the duties and the levies we put on them and they are definitely bent on sabotaging our efforts and we are getting increasingly unhappy with them.

“And I must say that very soon, if they persist, we will take very nasty measures against them.

“We will like to advise our neighbours, who believe that the ECOWAS treaty means that Nigeria is a volunteer nation for economic suicide.

“We have no such plans, destroying our own economy to make any neighbour happy.

“The ECOWAS treaty number two does not suggest that any country can be an avenue of smuggling foreign goods not produced in that country for dumping in his neighbours territory.

“If they insist, I do not think that government is far away from considering permanently closing certain borders very near us and when we do, nothing will make us change our minds on the issue, ECOWAS treaty or not,” the Minister told newsmen.

Modupe Gbadeyanka

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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