Senate restates ban on rice importation

The Senate has criticized the lifting of ban placed on rice importation and urged the Presidency to prevail on the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to immediately restore it.
 Adopting the report of the Ad-hoc Committee on Import Duty Waivers, Concessions and Grants which investigated the lifting of the ban on rice importation through the land borders, the Senate on Wednesday expressed concern that the decision would increase rice smuggling into the country.
 It therefore urged the Federal Government to direct the Nigeria Customs Service to reverse itself and maintain the status quo, which was said to have brought about stability in the tariff regime.
Presenting the report of the committee, a member of the panel, Senator Donald Alasoadura (APC,    Ondo Central), decried  the decision of the NCS, adding that  there are serious security implications accompanying uncontrolled number of trucks to the nation’s porous borders.
The panel found out that any importer that imports five to ten loads/vessels of rice into Benin Republic and destined them to Nigeria through the land borders already had predetermined motive to cheat Nigerian government of revenue through duty evasion.