The Comptroller-General, Nigeria Customs Service, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd), has asked Nigerians to stop eating foreign rice noting that they are poisonous.
Speaking at a news conference organized by the ministry of finance, the Customs boss said that the Federal Government is yet to issue license for importation of rice and that any rice seen on the streets that was not produced in Nigeria is smuggled.
He said that imported rice is poisonous because before coming into the country, it must have spent a minimum of five years in the silos.
“A chemical must have been added to sustain its freshness and that chemical is harmful.”Also, it has been re-bagged with a new date given as the production and expiry dates, and that is what we consume here which causes diseases. “So, I appeal to Nigerians to please patronise our own rice, it is available, more nutritious and if you do that you will assist customs by making sure these people (smugglers) are put out of business.”
Ali said that rice importation was one of the biggest challenges the agency was encountering, adding that it still happens because Nigerians consume imported rice.
He added that if Nigerians stop buying the imported rice, smugglers will go out of business and there will be no need to bring it in.
“We always ask for assistance from Nigerians to apprehend these smugglers, but up till now, there is no private citizen that has walked up to us to give us information, the only people giving us information are the rice millers.”