The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) has warned Nigerians to be wary of consuming killer rice that has flooded the market.
A statement by the forum’s Media and Public Affairs, Abulrazaque Bello-Barkindo said a communiqué issued by the forum in Abuja last week held that the imported rice contains poisonous substance that make people sick and even kill some who consume them.
The statement however lamented that despite the poisonous nature of the rice, the banned product still finds its way to the Nigerian market on increasing rate.
“Governors expressed concern that Nigerians were either falling sick or losing their lives to the consumption of this substandard product even though some states have commenced elaborate efforts to produce rice in commercial quantity with a view to halting the nation’s over-reliance on staples that can be produced locally.
“Most governors of the states that have already embraced the back to land mantra of this administration frowned at the situation where Nigerians snubbed the locally produced commodity in preference for foreign ones which were most of the time stale, contaminated or even fake,” the statement said.
However, Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Col. Hameed Ali who was represented by Deputy Comptroller General, Dangaladima Aminu said that although some measures have and are being put in place to salvage the situation, border communities, however, are part of the challenges to curbing the menace.
The Customs boss said this while briefing the Governors’ Forum on the way out of the killer rice danger.
“It may interest you to note that a motorcycle can make up to 30 trips with six 50kg bags of rice per night depending on the distance. And when the border communities are not smuggling the produce themselves, they are aiding or providing cover for smugglers.”
He informed the governors that the Customs “takes the issue of smuggling of rice seriously, having identified the danger posed by it to the economic well-being and health hazards it constitutes to the Nigerian people.”