The Dare-Devil Smugglers: 1,393 Bags of Rice Hidden in Gas Cylinders

The officials of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) intercepted 1,393 bags of rice concealed in gas cylinders within Ogun state. The question is “how on earth can anyone imagine concealing such number of bags in a gas cylinder??”

According to Usman Yahaya, one of the officials of NCS, they also seized 625 cartons of frozen chicken, 187 jars and 66 drums of vegetable oil when the suspects were arrested between 5th and 17th February, 2020. The items were conveyed in 12 different vehicles, had a cumulative Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N40.14 million. This is Barely two weeks after the Comptroller-General of Customs’ visit to Lagos State where he showcased various seizures made by FOU A worth over N10 billion.

It is clear to everyone that when it comes to business plans that have good profit-margin, even if all the borders are closed permanently, business tycoons will still find a way to smuggle in their goods because “Money rules the world”. This desperate act by these dare-devil smugglers- concealing edible items in a gas cylinder further justifies the hard chase by operatives of Customs. The DPV of each type of seized items include;

  • Rice -N27.86 million
  • Vegetable oil- N6.28 million
  •  Frozen poultry- N6 million

The Nigerian government closed the Land borders to stop the importation of Foreign rice. My question is “How many factories has the Nigerian government built for her citizens since she closed the border??”  The locally produced rice they say has more nutrients compared to the foreign rice but the government has failed to provide a standard factory to finely process the local rice so that Nigerians can also export their local rice to other countries. These dare-devil rice dealers had to smuggle in foreign rice because Nigerians are not happy eating stones in their well-prepared meals.

‘Anything worth doing should be done well’, if the Nigerian government insist on closing the Land borders, they should invest more in this country’s development by providing factories that will take care of core needs of her citizens.  Let’s stop deceiving ourselves in this country, the closing of the land borders has inflated the prices of the most items which are necessary to human existence. It has also affected the economy of this nation negatively if you look at it the other way.

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