The Rice Processors Association of Nigeria (RIPAN) has raised an alarm that over one million metric tons of rice have been smuggled into Nigeria in the last three months.
The Chairman of RIPAN, Mohammed Maifata, made the shocking revelation while briefing the media in Abuja on the latest development in rice smuggling in the country.
Mr Maifata said: “Investors in Nigeria have made (an) enormous financial commitment in the rice sub-sector. Unfortunately, the only threat to the industry’s total development is smuggling. Over 1 million metric tons of Rice which is equivalent to about 20,000,000 bags of 50kg Rice have been smuggled into Nigeria in the last three months.
“Nigeria currently loses huge revenues, foreign exchange and Jobs to this menace as Nigeria rice processing companies are shutting down because of their inability to gain market access.
According to him, nvestigations conducted by the association in the last few months indicated that “all our international borders have been converted to smugglers route and our markets are filled with smuggled foreign rice.”
He cautioned that “there is the need for urgent actions to avert eventual national food emergency by combating smuggling so that we can continue to grow our local Rice industry and the economy.”