Smuggling of rice across Nigerian borders has reached prohibitive levels, with hundreds of trailers plying back and forth from neighbouring countries carrying illegal shipments of the staple food.
The nation’s supply gap was estimated at about three million tonnes by United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and half that number by the Federal Government earlier this year. However, legal importers paying full tariff of 70 per cent have not been able to compete with smugglers who enjoy a free ride into the market, aided by negligible tariffs in neighbouring Cameroon and Republic of Benin, taking advantage of porous borders.
Another pertinent problem hamstringing rice investors is the ban, by the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN), on foreign exchange for rice imports, among other products, choking the importation supply chain. Read more