I thought, Anambra state is producing rice? The rate at which rice is smuggled into every state in Nigeria is quite alarming lately and I felt the Government should do something about it FAST. However, there are good side to this story as there are also some bad sides. As much as the government is trying to make Nigeria a self sufficient country; Nigerians themselves do not wish to be self sufficient because some callous people are making lots of money in out insufficiency.
Addressing reporters at the Command Barracks in Ibadan about the seizures, the Customs Area Controller, Tolutope Ogunkua wondered why some Nigerians remain unrepentant despite the clampdown on smugglers. He said the arrest of the bullion van and the 10 fairly used vehicles loaded with smuggled rice should send a serious signal to the smugglers.
While appealing to well meaning Nigerians to engage in legitimate businesses (Production of home made products, exportation, eCommerce e.t.c) and shun smuggling, Ogunkua maintained that anyone arrested with smuggled items would be prosecuted and charged to court.
He said: “It is worrisome to note that some Nigerians remain unrepentant even as they continue to lose, not even the Federal Government’s visible efforts in transforming the agricultural sector, especially in the area of rice production as well as the increase prevalence of expired imported rice with its hazardous health implications have touched their conscience to avoid rice smuggling.
“However our resolve to deal with them remains unshaken more so now that the present management has directed thorough investigation with a view to prosecuting all those that would be found connected to this illegal act.
“The arrest of a bullion van meant for convening cash used in concealing smuggled imported foreign rice should send serious signal to these recalcitrant saboteurs of the Nigerian economy that there is no hiding place. We are determined to beat all their concealment patterns with our superior intelligence network.