By Nsikak Evans
OrderPaperToday – The Senate today urged the Federal Government to direct the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) to reverse its earlier decision to allow importation of rice through land borders of the country.
The senate instead said rice importation should be done through the nation’s sea ports as a measure that would help to expand the revenue base of the country as well as improve the capacity of the NCS in anti-smuggling activities.
The decisions stemmed from what the upper legislative body noted were inconsistencies in fiscal policy measures relating to rice imports which brought about frequent changes on the removal of restrictions on rice imports between 2010 and 2012.
In taking the decision, the senate relied on the findings of its Ad-hoc Committee on import duty waivers, concession and grants which submitted that positive government policies on rice since 2011 had led to the increase in the number of rice mills from 1 to 15 across the country. 
The committee found that though the Customs Service had insisted that they are now well equipped with all the apparatus to monitor the land borders but failed to convince it of its ability to monitor the porous borders. 
The NCS had few months ago directed that rice could be imported into the country through land borders in order to curb smuggling and save the lives of its officers that were exposed to the fire power of smugglers at the borders.

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