The Comptroller-General of Customs, rtd. Col. Hameed Ali, on Wednesday, ordered the immediate removal of rice from import restriction list, as well as the re-introduction of import duty payment at land borders.
This was made known by the Public Relations Officer of Customs, Mr Wale Adeniyi during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Wednesday, in Abuja.
Adeniyi who said that the restriction was applied at land border stations before now, added that all rice imports through land borders by rice traders would attract the prevailing import duty of 10 per cent with 60 per cent levy.
The customs spokesperson said 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.
Adeniyi 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 reognise 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. “