Change business or face wrath of the law, customs boss warns smugglers

"By 2017, rice importation will stop, to give our local farmers opportunity to produce the commodity for our consumption and export,’’ he said.


The Comptroller General of Customs, Retired Col. Hameed Ali, on Thursday warned smugglers operating in the country to change business or face the wrath of the law.

Ali gave the warning at a meeting with traders and other stakeholders in Kano.

"Smuggling is one of the dangerous activities which affect the nation’s economy, so, smugglers should change business because it is an illegal business,’’ he said.

According to him, there is the need for people, especially those who have the impression that smuggling is a legal source of livelihood, to have a change of mind.

‘’Many people are of the belief that smuggling is a legal source of livelihood, but it is not; it an illegal business,’’ Ali said.

On rice importation, the CG said that the service would not reduce duty being charged on imported rice until when the Federal Government directed it to do so.

He, therefore, urged importers in the country to ensure that they pay duty only at the approved rates to avoid any inconvenience.

According to him, the country cannot afford to continue to import rice if farmers are to be encouraged to produce the commodity.

He assured the traders that the service would establish effective channel of communication with stakeholders.

"One of our mandates is trade facilitation, to ensure that the legitimate aspects of your businesses are entertained,’’ he said.


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