- The federal government has taken steps to reduce the illegal importation of rice through land borders in the country
- The minister of agriculture and rural development, Dr Mohammed Abubakar made this known at a meeting in Abuja over the weekend
- According to the minister, the ban on rice importation has led to increased production of the nation’s local rice and economic opportunities for rice investors in Nigeria
The Sun reports that FG has pledged continued collaboration with security agencies to reduce the illegal importation of rice through land borders.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammed Abubakar, made the declaration at a meeting of the Steering Committee of the National Taskforce on the illegal importation of rice through land borders in Abuja.
Abubakar, in a statement by a media aide in the ministry, Mabel Mbosire, said the ban on rice importation had brought about a significant increase in local rice production and unlocked economic opportunities for rice investors in the country.
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“The ministry is very concerned about the increase in smuggling and has convened this meeting to discuss critical issues in order to strategise and come up with concrete measures to enable the committee carry out its duties effectively.”
He noted that the huge improvement in the rice sub-sector needed to be sustained for the country’s economic growth as signified by the huge contributions of the agricultural sector to the nation’s Gross Domestic Production (GDP), Daily Independent also reported.
“The resumed smuggling of foreign rice, especially through the land borders, is constituting a serious threat to these achievements.
“Therefore, if the smuggling is left unchecked it will jeopardize all government efforts to enhance the domestic rice industry and make them ineffective.”
Chairman, Presidential Committee on Trade Malpractice, Alhaji Dahiru Ado, commended the ministry, the Nigerian Customs Service and other partners in their sustained efforts in tackling the menace of illegal rice importation through the land borders into the country.
He said his committee would continue to track vessels that bring in rice into the country through the Benin Republic and that the companies involved would be apprehended.
Price of Garri drops in popular Lagos market, a bag now sells for N13,000
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had earlier reported that the cost price of some major goods in the market has continued to rise in major markets across the country despite continuous efforts by the government to boost locally made produce.
Checks by Legit.ng showed the fluctuation in the cost price of some basic food items and an increment in others.
At the market this period, beans is the new gold as the bag sells from over N100,000 and foreign rice, a bag sells from 30,000 while a bag of local rice sells from N25,000.
Nigeria Customs Service reopens Illela land border in Sokoto state
In another report, the Illela border in Sokoto state was on Tuesday, January 5, reopened by the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS).
The reopening ceremony was performed by the customs area controller in charge of the Sokoto/Zamfara command, Abdulhamid Ma’aji, Premium Times reported.
He said the federal government’s ban on rice importation into Nigeria was still in force.