BY GODWIN ORITSE
THE Federal Government may have changed its mind over the ban on the rice importation of rice through land borders following a sustained protest by the Transborder Traders Association of Nigeria.
The Federal Government through the Ministry of Finance has directed the group and importers of rice through land borders to liaise with the management of the Nigeria Customs Service to work out the modalities on such imports through land borders.
In a letter to the National Coordinator of the Transborder traders Association of Nigeria, dated September 14th 2011, the government stated that it is considering the appeal it received from the group just s it has also directed the Customs service to meet with the group and ensure that proper duties are paid on every import through approved borders.
Part of the letter reads “ I am directed to refer to your letter dated July 14th 2011 on the above subject matter and to inform you to liaise with Nigeria Customs Service in order to avail your association with necessary guidelines on importations through land borders”
It would be recalled that both the transboder trade association of Nigeria and the Rice Millers and distributors of Nigerian have been on each other throat on whether or not to ban rice importation through land borders.
While the transborder group are saying that all I well with rice import through land borders as all duties are fully paid as at when due, the rice miller are of the opinion that sub-tandard rice are smuggled through the land borders.
Leader of the transborder traders Alhaji Mikky Okunola said that since rice importation through land borders was ban, the price of rice has gone beyond the reach of the common man adding that rice from the borders are definitely cheaper than that ones rice millers import through the sea ports.