Senate on Thursday slammed a heavy stick on rice smugglers, saying the illegal operators are hampering Nigeria’s quest for self-sufficiency in rice production.
By this, the lawmakers resolved that there should be total implementation of ban on rice importation through closure of borders to increase enough supply of the food produce in the country.
Raising a motion on smuggling as threat to Nigeria’s quest to self-sufficiency in rice production, the sponsor, Senator Hope Uzodinma (Imo West) stated that the ongoing rice revolution undertaken by government has amounted to nothing hence viable steps are not taken to curtail the worrisome trend of smuggling.
Uzodinma maintained that smuggling severely harms the economy of a country and undermines the local industry in multidimensional ways, as well as discouraged legal import and reduce revenue.
According to him, the federal government should intensify border patrol to check activities of smugglers.
Senate Leader, Senator Ahmad Lawan said if total ban on importation is achieved, it will ensure abundant rice production and provide sufficient jobs through industrialization.
The chief Whip, Senator Adeyeye Olushola, deputy majority leader, Balla Ibn Na’allahand Senator Adamu Aliero (Kebbi Central) posited that to tackle smuggling effectively, the federal government must engage neighbouring countries to strengthen security at the borders.
It further mandated the committee on customs, excise and tariff to carry out a holistic investigation on the operation of Comprehensive Import Supervision Scheme (CISS) and unravel the smugglers.