Customs Warn Toxic Rice From India In The Market

…12 Suspects Arrested

Richard Ginika Izuora

The Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, have warned that toxic rice imported from India are now in circulation.

Federal Operations Unit, Zone “A” of the Nigeria Customs Service, headed by the Acting Comptroller, DC Hussein Ejibunu raised the alarm over 1000 of such rice seized by the Unit with soft heavy toxic element known as lead.


At a press conference in Lagos, the Deputy Comptroller said, over a thousand bags of rice have been found after laboratory analysis to contain the toxic substance.


“Sequel to a laboratory test analysis on some of the previously seized foreign parboiled rice by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC). One of the test parameters indicated some contents of lead (a soft heavy toxic malleable metallic element) in the tested rice; making it unfit for human consumption”. he said.


He, advised Nigerians to embrace the locally produced rice as he revealed, that the intention of the perpetrators behind the illegal importation of the toxic rice is barbaric.


“Consequent upon this laboratory analysis on the foreign parboiled rice; as a responsible government agency, we are letting Nigerians know that apart from the negative economic impact of importing foreign rice into the country, some of these imported rice is unhealthy for human consumption. Thus, we advise consumers to desist from patronizing the Federal Government policy on foreign parboiled rice. We as citizens have a collective responsibility to safeguard our economy and health for the benefit of all”. he added.


Other notable Seizures recorded by the Unit within the Month of March are 55,800 litres of PMS, 73 bales of used clothes, 82 units of used fridges, 104 pieces of compressors, 143 bales of new textile, 1,264 pieces of used tyres, 156 cartons of frozen poultry, 7,960 pairs of new shoes, 240 pieces of ladies purse, 93 cartons of tin tomato, 2 units of foreign used vehicles and 11 pieces of used rugs.


The cumulative duty paid value (DPV) of the seized items stood at Five Hundred and Thirty-three Million, One Hundred and Sixty-nine Thousand, Five Hundred and Twenty Naira (N533,169,520).


According to the Acting Comptroller, a total sum of One Hundred and Eleven Million, Eight Hundred and Twenty-five Thousand, Eight Hundred and Seventy-three Naira, Seventy-five Kobo (N111,825,873.75K) was ultimately collected as revenue for the Federal Government through Demand Notices (DN) on cleared cargoes. He attributed the success, however to series of diligent documentary checks.


Also on the seized tyres, he explained that they are imported from regions with different weather conditions which makes it difficult for an average Nigerian to decipher which tyre will be suitable on Nigerian roads, as so many accidents have been attributed to tyre bursts. He warned against the purchase of cheap tyres at the detriment of human lives.


“Apart from the Federal Government’s policies geared towards the protection of its local economy against foreign competitors, the government in her wisdom prohibits goods like used clothes, used fridges/compressors and used tyres among others; because of their attending effects on the security, health and the economy. Therefore, Nigerians are urged to acquaint themselves with the import prohibition list for compliance and to cooperate with the Service to safeguard our country” He reiterated.


Ejibunu also noted that a total of twelve (12) suspects have been arrested in connection with some of the Seizures for committing various Customs offences and will be charged to Court accordingly.

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