Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Col Hameed Ali (Rtd) has given the assurance that the policy on rice importation is not inimical to the nation’s economy.
The Customs boss, who spoke with reporters after a closed door meeting with the Senate Adhoc Commitee on Import Waivers, said that the decision would help generate more revenue for government and reduce smuggling of the product.
He added that the Service would continually implement policies that would protect the interest of Nigerians.
The Nigerian Senate had summoned the Comptroller-General of Customs to explain why he lifted the ban on rice importation through land borders.
The decision to summon Ali was taken after a motion on the dangers posed by the removal of rice from the import restriction list and re-introduction of import duty payment on land borders was presented.
His action was also viewed by the Senate to be above his level, since the order restricting rice importation through land borders was a presidential one issued in 2011.
Senator Muhammed Aliero, who presented the motion on the floor, said that the Senate was concerned that the decision by the Comptroller-General of Customs to liberalize the importation of rice to the extent of lifting the ban on land importation of rice would worsen rice smuggling into the country.
Blocking Revenue Leakages
Meanwhile, in a recent chat with Customs officials during his maiden visit to Lagos State, Mr Alli had stated that repositioning, restructuring and generation of more revenue for the government were paramount to him.
He warned importers and officials of the Nigeria Customs Service against corrupt practices in the maritime sector.
While stressing the need to block revenue leakages for the nation to generate more revenue from the maritime sector, he warned that the days of corruption were over and that anyone caught would be dealt with accordingly.
He tasked officers and men of the Seme Area Command in Lagos to carry out their duties according to the dictates of the law that established the service.