Nosa Alekhuogie with Agency Report
The immediate past President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Remi Bello has commended the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) on the re-introduction of the ban on importation of rice through the land borders, describing it as a congenial progress.
According to him, the decision would encourage local production of rice thereby boosting the nation’s economy through farming.
While criticising NCS for reversing the earlier ban placed on the commodity last year, Bello said, “With the kind of investment our people have made to rice production, there should not be any need for us to relax it in the first place and allow imported rice to come in through the land borders.
In all ramifications, it is not the best thing to have happened then but if it is now happening, I believe it is going to help our farmers. It is a welcome development. So it should be encouraged.”
Ships and Ports quoted Bello as saying noting that while the country is not self -sufficient in rice production, with special focus on the agricultural sector, the country will be the better for it at the long run.
On whether the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) policy restricting foreign currency supply to importers of rice will not be a set back to the reintroduction of the ban, as importers will now be expected to import the commodity only through the seaport.
Bello said: “The objective of the CBN’s restriction is to encourage local production. Even in LCCI we are not canvassing that rice should be included in the items that should have access to foreign exchange. “