The Senate’s Ad- hoc Committee on Import Duty Waivers has invited the new Comptroller-General general of the Nigerian Custom Service, Mr. Hameed Ali, to explain the reasons why he lifted the ban on rice importation, stating that the decision was above his level, since the order restricting rice importation through land borders was a presidential one issued in 2011.
However, the decision to summon the NCS Boss, was taken after a motion on the dangers involved in the removal of rice from the import restriction list and the re-introduction of import duty payment on land borders was presented.
Sen. Muhammed Aliero, who presented the motion on the floor, said, the Senate was concerned that the decision taken by Ali, to loosen restriction on the importation of rice to the extent of lifting the ban placed on its importation, would further worsen rice smuggling into the country.
“The Senate is worried that the unilateral and unexpected decision of the CG Customs to re-open the country’s land borders to rice importation will reverse the tremendous gains recorded in rice production in the country.
“The Senate also wants to ensure that the agriculture sector (which) is the dependable lifeline of this country is not harmed beyond immediate repair by the policy inconsistency,” he said.