BY MUHAMMAD M. ALI, NOVEMBER 8, 2021 | 02:57 PM
Dr. Mohammed Abubakar, Nigerian minister of agriculture and rural development says his ministry will strategize and collaborate with security agencies to reduce the illegal importation of rice through land borders, which according him, has resumed recently.
In a statement issued on Sunday by Mabel Mbosire, a senior information officer in the ministry, disclosed this in a meeting with the steering committee of the national task force on the illegal importation of rice through land borders in Abuja.
The federal government, through the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN has, since 2015, banned the importation of 41 items including rice from accessing foreign exchange in the official window. And in January 2018, the Nigeria Customs confirmed that the CBN stopped issuing Form 'M' to importers for importation of rice.
According to the minister, the ban on rice importation has brought about significant increase in local rice production and unlocked economic opportunities for rice investors in the country.
'The ministry is very concerned about the increase in smuggling and has convened this meeting to discuss critical issues in order to strategies and come up with concrete measures to enable the committee carry out its duties effectively,' Dr. Abubakar said.
Dr. Abubakar explained that the strategizing is necessary following the huge improvement in the rice sub-sector, which needed to be sustained for the country’s economic growth, as signified by the huge contributions of the agricultural sector to the nation’s Gross Domestic Production, GDP.
'The resumed smuggling of foreign rice, especially through the land borders, is constituting a serious threat to these achievements.
'Therefore, if the smuggling is left unchecked it will jeopardize all government efforts to enhance the domestic rice industry and make them ineffective.
'The federal government and the private sector have invested a lot of resources in rice production and processing over the years, because of the government’s commitment to the development of the sub-sector through its various interventions,' the minister explained.
He noted that the decision is in line with the federal government’s diversification policy.
Conflict Reporting is dangerous and risky. Our reporters constantly face life-threatening challenges, sometimes surviving ambushes, kidnap attempts and attacks by the whiskers as they travel and go into communities to get authentic and firsthand information. But we dare it every day, nonetheless, in order to keep you informed of the true situation of the victims, the trends in the conflicts and ultimately help in peace building processes. But these come at huge cost to us. We are therefore appealing to you to help our cause by donating to us through any of the following means. You can also donate working tools, which are even more primary to our work. We thank you sincerely as you help our cause.
Alternatively, you can also email us on
firstname.lastname@example.org or message us
via +234 803 931 7767