Nigeria: Customs Service forbids exit of rice from Free Trade Zones
(Ecofin Agency) - Determined to ensure total compliance to the ban on rice imports into the country, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has forbidden the exit of rice from Free Trade Zones in the country.
NCS’s Public Relations Officer, Joseph Attah, who recently announced this in Abuja said some Nigerians were leveraging on the FTZ status –as a country within a country– to smuggle rice into the country. “The NCS has discovered that some operators are taking advantage of the status of the FTZ. They now circumvent the law restricting rice importation through the land borders,” he said.
It should be recalled that it was in a bid to preserve foreign exchange and boost local rice production that the Buhari administration engaged, last year, in a mission to end rice imports. According to the minister of agriculture, Audu Ogbeh, the measure has helped the country save $5 million daily which it used to spend on importing the grain.