22nd november ,2014 rice news by riceplus magazine millers groan over rice smuggling through free trade zones leadership newspaper ng
Millers Groan Over Rice Smuggling Through Free Trade Zones
By: Ezra Ijioma on November 22, 2013 - 3:42am
Rice millers and distributors in Nigeria are groaning over the
continuing smuggling of rice through the free trade zones despite
government’s increased tariff on imported rice.
This was disclosed by the President, Rice Millers, Importers and
Distributors Association of Nigeria (RMIDAN), Mr. Tunji
Owoeye, at a meeting yesterday in Abuja with the presidential
committee on trade malpractice.
Owoeye said that while the local rice producers were working
hard to support government’s plan to make Nigeria self sufficient
in rice, some importers were using the free trade zones to import
rice and deny the country of much needed revenue.
“Principally we brought the issue of smuggling through Benin
Republic, Niger Republic and Cameroon. We brought up the
incentives for our rice farmers and rice processors and parity of
tariffs with ECOWAS (Economic Community of West Africa
States),” he told reporters after the meeting.
Owoeye said that neighbouring countries were taking advantage
of disconnect in Nigeria’s rice policy to exploit the country.
“They ship in quite a large number of parboiled rice into Benin
Republic and Cameroun but, we know that the rice is destined for
Nigerian markets and government has taken note of that,”
Owoeye revealed, adding :“Benin has imported a more than two
million bags of parboiled rice that Beninoise don’t eat but are
destined for Nigeria.” He disclosed that the smuggled rice costs
Nigeria an estimated $1billion daily.
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