Despite a resolution by the National Assembly which called on the Federal Government to end rice importation through land borders, the Nigeria Customs Service says it has recorded a total revenue of N1,178,720,376 on Rice Imports through the land borders in October and November 2015. During the same period, the total quantity of rice imported through the land borders stood at 17.596 Metric Tonnes.
Spokesman of Customs, Wale Adeniyi said the figures were disclosed at a strategy session convened by the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd) to review revenue performance for the year.
It said two months ago, the Comptroller-General of the Service had approved the removal of the restriction placed on importation of Rice through the land borders, adding that the removal was predicated on the large scale rice smuggling through the land borders, resulting to huge revenue loss and distortions in the price of the item in the local markets.
“ 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 as this critical period of our economic downtown” , the Comptroller-General disclosed during the meeting.
The statement went on to say that the breakdown of the Rice imports shows that Idiroko border in Ogun Command has the largest volume of 8.276 Metric tonnes, with a collection of N555,152,344 duty. Katsina Borders come next in quantity of 3,636 Metric tones imported, where total revenue of N242,985,626 was collected during the same period. 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
Niger/Kwara/Kogi – 68 Metric Tonnes with N4,710,394