THE National Rice Millers Association of Nigeria, NRMAN, has criticised the Nigerian Customs Service’s, NCS, decision to lift the ban on importation of rice through the land borders. Mohammed Abubakar, chairman of the association, said the NCS overreached its statutory mandate as an enforcement agency in taking such a policy decision.
Abubakar said if the customs succeeded in its decision, it would destroy Nigeria’s rice value chain attained by the previous administration. He said the decision was an attempt by the customs to legitimise the smuggling of rice.
“First of all, the customs does not have the power to do that, it is a matter of national policy and customs does not make national policy, it is an implementation agency. This will completely kill the rice value chain and everything concerning rice production will stop; customs does not have the right to make such decision.
“This ban was placed six years ago and everybody knows that, so it does not have any reason to say rice should be brought in through the land borders. Anyone who gives such directive has smuggling intentions,” he said.
Abubakar said the association would do everything possible to make customs to see patriotic reason and rescind the decision. He urged government to be focused and have the political will to make sure Nigeria becomes self sufficient in rice production.
— Oct 26, 2015 @ 01:00 GMT