Customs restricts rice import in free trade zones
Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Comptroller-General,Col. Hameed Ali (retd), has restricted rice import in trade free zones.
Public Relations Officer of the service, Mr. Joseph Attah, made this known to reporters in Abuja at the weekend.
He said the restriction became necessary because some operators were taking undue advantage of the trade zone, which allows them to import some quantity of rice.
“So, if we block the land borders and allow operators of free trade zone to bring in rice through the seaports, then our efforts at the land borders will be in vain,” he said.
He said smuggling is a crime like armed robbery,, urging Nigerians to treat it so.
On efforts by the NCS in tackling smuggling, Attah said: “We have the commands covering those border lines. We also have the federal operation units that cover these land borders and to build another layer of policing, we have what we call the compliance team.
“It might interest you to know that this compliance team headed by an Assistant Comptroller, Musa Jalo, made a total of 921 seizures with a duty paid value of over N1billion. Most of these seizures are rice and vehicles.