By Gbenga Ogundare
The Nigeria Customs Service made a whopping N1,178,720,376 on Rice Imports only through the land borders in October and November 2015, Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd) disclosed Wednesday in Abuja.
The total quantity of rice imported through the land borders in the same period also stood at 17.596 metric tonnes.
The Customs boss approved the removal of the restriction placed on importation of Rice through the land borders two months ago.
He predicated the decision on the large scale rice smuggling through the land borders, which resulted in huge revenue loss and distortions in the price of the item in the local markets.
Ali said “The huge collection in just two months has vindicated our position. If we had stuck to our previous directive, this much quantum of rice would still have been smuggled anyway, and we would have lost over a billion Naira revenue at this critical period of our economic downturn.”
A breakdown of the Rice imports shows that Idiroko border in Ogun Command recorded the largest volume of 8.276 Metric tonnes, with a collection of N555,152,344 duty; Katsina Borders generated 3,636 metric tones of imported rice with a revenue of N242,985,626 collected during the same period.
Similarly, a total of 2.156 metric tones was imported through the land borders of Oyo/Osun command, generating a total revenue of N144,278,025.
Other Commands include: Seme – 2,140 Metric tonnes with N143,349,658, Sokoto – 602 Metric tonnes with N40,162,759, Kano/Jigawa – 470 Metric tonnes with N31,536,148, Adamawa/Taraba – 248 Metric tonnes with N16,545,422 and Niger/Kwara/Kogi – 68 Metric Tonnes with N4,710,394.
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