John Doe
Tue, Aug 1, 2023 8:35 PM

Nigeria Customs Seize N3.02bn Worth of Smuggled Rice in One Year

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Nigeria Customs Seize N3.02bn Worth of Smuggled Rice in One Year
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has seized over N3.02 billion worth of smuggled rice within a 13-month period, according to data obtained from the service. The seizures, which amounted to 206,835 bags of rice, highlight the urgent need for increased efforts in curbing smuggling activities. Rice farmers have expressed their concerns over the continuous smuggling of the commodity and have called on the NCS and the Federal Government to intensify the fight against smugglers.

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has made significant strides in combating the smuggling of rice, as evidenced by the seizure of a staggering N3.02 billion worth of smuggled rice between May 2022 and May 2023.

Official data from the NCS reveals that a total of 206,835 bags of rice were seized during this 13-month period, reflecting the persistence and scale of the smuggling problem. With a total of 1,745 seizures conducted, it is evident that smuggling remains a significant challenge that requires urgent attention.

Rice farmers across the country have voiced their concerns over the continuous influx of smuggled rice, which not only harms their livelihoods but also poses a threat to national food security. They are calling on the NCS and the Federal Government to step up their efforts in combating this illicit trade.

The import duty on the seized smuggled rice was estimated at N1.7 billion, while the Duty-Paid Value was valued at N4.74 billion. These figures demonstrate the economic impact of smuggling and further underline the need for immediate action.

Highlighting the severity of the issue, the highest number of seized bags was recorded in September 2022, with 118 seizures amounting to 96,312 bags of rice worth N295.88 million. The month of February 2023 witnessed the highest total value of seizures, reaching N420.84 million. This involved 172 seizures of 12,239 bags of rice.

The fight against smuggling is not without its challenges. Chief Superintendent of Customs Abdullahi Maiwada acknowledged the vast and porous borders of the country and the limitations in terms of human resources. However, he assured that the NCS is actively working to curtail smuggling by increasing manpower through training programs and acquiring additional facilities.

Maiwada emphasized that although it may be impossible to eradicate smuggling entirely, the NCS is committed to reducing it to the barest minimum. The data provided by the NCS serves as evidence of their efforts in tackling smuggling and assures transparency in their operations.

Throughout the year-long review period, a total of 344 suspected smugglers were apprehended. This includes 291 individuals arrested between January and December 2022 and 53 arrested between January and May 2023. These arrests highlight the ongoing commitment to enforcing border control and holding smugglers accountable for their illegal activities.

The seizure of such a significant quantity of smuggled rice and the arrests made by the NCS demonstrate the urgent need for a joint effort between law enforcement agencies, rice farmers, and the government to combat smuggling effectively. A multi-faceted approach addressing border security, economic incentives, and public awareness is crucial to curbing this illicit trade and protecting local farmers.

Source of content: OOO News 2023-08-01 News

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