DESMOND Mgboh, Kano
Nigeria Customs Service (NSC) has raised the alarm over the use of trucks meant for the transportation of petrol, diesel, and other related items to import foreign rice into the country.
Customs Area Controller, Kano/Jigawa Area Command, Comptroller Nasir Ahmed, made the disclosure on Friday at the Bompai Command’s headquarters in the state while parading an impounded truck of fuel which was loaded fuel tankers with bags of foreign rice
The truck, according to him, was impounded by his officers on Thursday along Daura axis while adding that both the driver and his boy fled the scene before they could be apprehended.
The Customs boss acted on intelligence and had to shoot at the tyres of the purportedly empty petrol truck before they could bring it to a halt.
He said that while searching the truck, they discovered that the first compartment was fully loaded, the middle equally loaded while the back compartment had nothing inside, hence giving a false impression that the truck was driving empty.
“Compartments that are meant to be carrying diesel and fuel are now being used to import rice; the health implications to Nigerians are just wide,” he stated.
The comptroller lamented that whoever could bring in rice using that means could as well as bring in more dangerous items like Tramadol and ammunition to the detriment of the nation.
On why foreign rice was still finding its way into the Nigerian market, the Customs boss explained that there were over 2,500 unapproved borders routes in the North West alone, adding that the smugglers sometimes use motorcycles to enter through the unapproved borders.
He called on Nigerians to join the fight against the importation of foreign rice, adding that the fight should not be left to the Customs alone, calling on all and sundry to be involved.