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Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hamid Ali (rtd)

Customs re-introduces ban on rice importation via land borders

Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hamid Ali (rtd)
Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hamid Ali (rtd)
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has re-introduced the restriction order on importation of rice through land borders across the country.
Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd), approved the reversal of an earlier policy in October 2015, which allowed rice imports through the land borders once appropriate duty and charges were paid.
At a review session held with Comptrollers of Border Commands and Federal Operation Units in Abuja Tuesday, the NCS noted that dwindling revenue from rice imports through the land borders did not tally with the volume of rice landed in neighboring ports.
Rather, reports from border commands indicated an upsurge in the tempo of rice smuggling.
A statement issued, Tuesday, by the NCS’ Public Relations Officer, Mr. Wale Adeniyi said the implementation of the restriction order got off to a smooth start, with a high level of compliance in October 2015.
“However, revenue started dwindling from January 2016, with importers blaming access to Forex as major impediments. During the Five-month period when the importation was allowed–October 2015-March 17, 2016, a total of 24.992 metric tonnes of rice valued at N 2, 335,131,093 ( Two Billion, Three Hundred and Thirty Five Million , One Hundred and Thirty One Thousand and Ninety Three Naira) was imported through the land borders.
“During the period, total revenue generated amounted to N 1,685,112,810 (one billion, six hundred and eighty, five million one hundred and twelve thousand, eight hundred and ten naira only).
“This is considerably lower than the revenue projected to be generated with the removal of import restrictions,” the statement added.
The NCS noted, however, that an upsurge in the number of the seizures has been reported across the land borders since January 2016.
It added that in the first two months of 2016, a total of 9238 bags were seized, with Duty Paid Value of N64,666,000 made by the Customs anti-smuggling patrol teams of Federal Operations and Border commands.

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