The Customs Area Comptroller (CAC), Ogun State Command, Mr. Ahmed Mohammed Jamo, has declared that the current import prohibition list excludesÂ rice as a banned item from importation, adding that rice is a dutiable import commodity that attracts duty payment both at the borderÂ stations and seaport in the country.
Speaking through the public relations officer of the command, Mr. Chike Ngige, he said, â€œInf act, since the current rice import guidelines, the command has been recording huge revenue from import duties paid on rice through our border stations. The command ensures that truck and trailer-loads of rice are always cleared with relevance import documents and within the stipulated import guidelines. The trucks are made to pass through the scanning machine to ensure that its content is nothing elseÂ but rice. The scanning of the loaded trucks is done by the Federal Governmentâ€™s appointed independent service provider.
â€œThereÂ is also what is called Baggage Assessment, which allows small importers of two to three bags of rice to pay duty at the border. These small importers bring in rice on motorbikes or tricycles and pay import duties on them. It is not true that arms and ammunition are smuggled into the country through the borders using the trucks as means of conveyance.
Baggage was introduced to enable small importers of rice pay duty instead of smuggling. We ensure that all imports pass through scanner before they are released from Customs control, be it general goods or ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme (ETLS) goods.Â With thorough scanning, no arms and ammunition in whatever guise are smuggled through the approved border points like Idiroko, Imeko and Ohumbe border stationsâ€.
Speaking onÂ seizures, he said, â€œImpounded goods are not released to the owners. Any seizure made is immediately communicated to the headquarters. The command has always been assertive in its operations both in revenue collection for government and the campaign to curb smuggling in all ramificationsâ€.