The suspension of restrictions on the importation of rice through the land borders by the Comptroller-General, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Col. Hameed Ali (rtd), has paid off.
The service has raked in N1.178 billion from the 17,596 metric tonnes of the item imported through the borders between October and November, this year.
Speaking at a strategy session convened by the Service to review revenue performance so far, Ali said out of the N1.2 billion generated by the Service between October and November, N1,178,720,376 was generated from rice.
Ali approved the suspension of restrictions on land importation of rice on assumption of duty in September, saying the decision was to checkmate the large amount of rice being smuggled through the land borders and the loss of huge revenue that should have acrued to the Federal Government.
“The huge collection in just two months has vindicated our position. If we had stuck to our previous directive, these much quantum of rice would still have been smuggled and we would have lost over N1 billion revenue at this critical period of our economic down-town,” he said.
The breakdown of the revenue showed that Idiroko border in Ogun State Command, had the largest volume of 8.276 metric tonnes, with a collection of N555.152 million duty while Katsina border has 3,636 metric tonnes resulting in N242.1 million revenue during the period.
The Customs boss added that 2.156 metric tonnes of rice was also imported through the land borders of Oyo and Osun commands, generating revenue of N144,278,025. At Seme, Sokoto, Kano, Jigawa, Adamawa and Taraba commands, the service said it generated N143,349,658; N40,162,759; N31,536,148; N16,545,422; N4,710,394 from 2,140,602,248 and 68 metric tonnes.