Cus­toms or­ders re­moval of rice from im­port re­stric­tion list

Daily Trust - - FRONT PAGE -

The Comptroller-Gen­eral of the Nige­ria Cus­toms Ser­vice (NCS), re­tired colonel Hameed Ali, has or­dered the im­me­di­ate re­moval of rice from the im­port re­stric­tion list and the re-in­tro­duc­tion of im­port duty pay­ment at land borders.

The NCS Public Re­la­tions Of­fi­cer, Mr Wale Adeniyi, made this known in an in­ter­view with the News Agency of Nige­ria (NAN) yesterday in Abuja.

Mr Adeniyi said that be­fore now, the re­stric­tion was ap­plied only at land bor­der sta­tions but that the Cus­toms boss had lifted the re­stric­tion on rice at the sta­tions.

Adeniyi ex­plained that all rice im­ports through land borders by rice traders would at­tract the pre­vail­ing im­port duty of 10 per cent, with a 60 per cent levy.

He added that rice millers (pref­er­en­tial levy) with a valid quota al­lo­ca­tion, would also at­tract a duty rate of 10 per cent with a 20 per cent levy on rice im­por­ta­tion.

“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 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, while some ac­tu­ally carry it on their heads.

“These new mea­sures will be for the Cus­toms to re­or­gan­ise 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,” he said.

NAN re­calls that be­fore the ban on rice im­por­ta­tion, the Cus­toms had placed dif­fer­ent rates of levy on rice im­ports. While a pref­er­en­tial 30 per cent levy was placed on rice millers, rice im­porters got 70 per cent.

The essence of the dif­fer­ent rates of levy was to en­cour­age lo­cal pro­duc­tion. (NAN)

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