The Comptroller-General of Customs, Hameed Ali, has described rice imported into Nigeria as poisonous, advising Nigerians to stop consuming it.
“A chemical must have been added to sustain its freshness and that chemical is harmful. Also, it has been re-bagged with a new date given as the production and expiry date and that is what we consume here which causes diseases.
“So, I appeal to Nigerians to please patronise our own rice; it is available, more nutritious and if you do that you will assist Customs by making sure these people are put out of business,” Ali said during a press conference organised by the Ministry of Finance in Abuja on Thursday.
The Customs CG said the Federal Government had not issued license for importation of rice and that any rice seen on the streets that was not produced in Nigeria was smuggled.
Illegal rice importation, he said, remains one of the biggest challenges facing the Nigeria Customs Service.
“We always ask for assistance from Nigerians to apprehend these smugglers but up till now there is no private citizen that has walked up to us to give us information, the only people giving us information are the rice millers.
“We are working very closely with them to make sure that the rice that comes into this country is validly processed,” he said.