- The Nigerian Senate disclosed recently that rice is still being smuggled into the country despite measures to curb smuggling activities in the country
- According to the Senate committee on agriculture, two million metric tonnes of rice are smuggled into the country annually
- The vice-chairman of the committee revealed also that there is no form of coordination in the Nigerian rice industry
Abuja- Despite heightened security by the Nigerian Customs at the nation’s land borders, the activities of smuggling lingers.
Recently, the Senate committee on agriculture says two million metric tonnes of rice are smuggled into the country annually, The Cable reported.
Speaking at a stakeholders' meeting in Abuja on Wednesday, December 1, Muhammad Enagi, vice-chairman of the committee, said the smuggled rice is part of the 6.7 million metric tonnes consumed annually in the country.
The meeting was organised by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)–Global Environment Facility (GEF), in collaboration with the Women Farmers Advancement Network (WOFAN).
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Enagi said Nigeria’s production of rice rose from 3.7 million metric tonnes in 2017 to about 5.0 metric tonnes in 2021.
The senator said:
“In spite of this, 6.7 million metric tons of rice is consumed in Nigeria annually, resulting in a deficit of about two million metric tons which is either imported or smuggled illegally into the country.”
The legislator added that he is currently sponsoring a bill to establish the National Rice Development Council of Nigeria for a “comprehensive development” of the rice sector.
He said the bill, when passed into law, would provide a “comprehensive operational and governance” structure for a complete rice value chain, adding that it will transform the activities of rice farmers, processors, millers, researchers and marketers.
He affirmed thus:
“With our natural competitive advantage in the area of rice production, Nigeria should put in place a National Rice Development Council and a comprehensive national rice development roadmap that will guide us not only into a regime of self-sufficiency in rice production, but also for export.”
“The Nigerian rice industry exists in the abstract as there appears to be no form of coordination in the absence of a properly structured rallying point.
“We have Paddy Rice Dealers Association of Nigeria (PRIDAN), Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIMAN), among others.”
Igbo traders reject new Custom Import Duty, warn goods in the market could become more Expensive
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had earlier reported that Igbo traders under the umbrella of the South-East Amalgamated Markets Traders Association (SEAMATA), said it has rejected the recent increment in the import duty on cargoes charged by the Nigerian Customs Service.
The group described the increment as “astronomical and indiscriminate”.
SEAMATA is the umbrella union of traders in all the markets in Nigeria’s South-east and traders of South-east extraction doing business across the states in the country and in Diaspora.