The Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, in Sokoto State have alerted the public to the consumption of imported rice saying it intercepted a truck loaded with 460 bags which were allegedly found poisonous.
The NCS Area Comptroller in charge of Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara states, Mr. Nasir Ahmed, disclosed this to newsmen at the weekend saying the rice was hidden in a tanker that was being used to carry petrol, and after it was impounded, it was discovered that it had been contaminated.
Ahmed said, “This is an oil tanker belonging to one of the major oil distributors that is now used in carrying black oil (contraband). This poses serious health risk and hazard to those who consume the rice because it has been contaminated.
“The plan of the smugglers is to repackage the rice and sell it to innocent Nigerians as soon as they reach their destination in Niger State. We will not allow such unscrupulous persons to put the lives of our citizens at risk.”
Meanwhile the Federal Government on Sunday, announced that Thailand had commenced moves to establish rice mills in Nigeria. The ban on rice importation into Nigeria is affecting Thailand’s economy.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, during a tour of some rice farms in Kebbi State, said the Federation Government had won its fight against rice importation, as Nigeria had reduced its importation of rice by over 90 per cent.
“As we speak today, Thailand rice growers are making passionate appeal to the Federal Government. What they are doing now is that they want to set up rice mills in Nigeria, which means we have won,” Mohammed stated.