The Nigeria Customs Service has recorded a total revenue of N1,178,720,376 on rice imports through the land borders in October and November 2015. During the same period, the total quantity of rice imported through the land borders stood at 17.596 metric tonnes.
These figures were disclosed at a strategy session convened by the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd) while reviewing revenue performance for the year.
Two months ago, Ali had approved the removal of the restriction placed on importation of rice through the land borders. The removal was predicated on the large scale rice smuggling through the land borders, resulting to huge revenue loss and distortions in the price of the item in the local markets.
“The huge collection in just two months has vindicated our position. If we had stuck to our previous directive, this much quantum of rice would still have been smuggled anyway, and we would have lost over a billion Naira revenue at this critical period of our economic downtown,” the Comptroller-General disclosed.
The breakdown of the rice imports shows that Idiroko border in Ogun Command has the largest volume of 8.276 metric tonnes, with a collection of N555,152,344 duty. Katsina borders come next in quantity of 3,636 metric tonnes imported, while total revenue of N242,985,626 was collected during the same period. A total of 2.156 metric tonnes was imported through the land borders of Oyo/Osun Command, generating a total revenue of N144,278,025.
Other Commands include Seme – 2,140 metric tonnes with N143,349,658; Sokoto – 602 metric tonnes with N40,162,759; Kano/Jigawa – 470 metric tonnes with N31,536,148; Adamawa/Taraba – 248 metric tonnes with N16,545,422 and Niger/Kwara/Kogi – 68 metric tonnes with N4,710,394 .
By Pita Ochai