17 April 2017, Sweetcrude, Lagos — A farmer and former Director of Press, Federal Ministry of Information, Peter Dama has accused some unscrupulous Customs officers of aiding and abetting the smuggling of rice through Nigeria’s land borders.
Dama in a letter to the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service, (NCS) said that up to 100 truckloads of rice is smuggled across land borders into Nigeria daily with the connivance of corrupt Customs officials.
In the letter dated April, the former Director of Press said the smuggling will threaten the gains of local rice production so far recorded in the country.
Dama said over 100 truckloads of smuggled rice are off-loaded daily in big markets in Kano, Jos, Abuja, Lafiya and Katsina states.
Dama, the owner of Swomen Dama farms in Plateau state lamented the negative impact that the illegal importation of rice through the land borders was having on jobs and investment in the rice mills and farms.
“l believe that some bad eggs within the Nigerian Customs Service and few terrible Nigerians are conniving with these smugglers to frustrate the efforts of the Federal Government in attaining its food security drive.
“I am, therefore, calling on the authorities as a matter of urgency to intensify border patrol and raid stores and warehouses harbouring smuggled rice,” he said.
Dama wants smugglers caught circumventing the laws to be executed.