Management of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) have been called upon by the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, to consider lifting the ban on rice importation.
The monarch said this government policy has brought untold hardship on the Nigerian masses and aggravated the scarcity of food in the country. He urged that the policy be revisited with a view to making amends and ameliorate the suffering of Nigerians.
The Sultan disclosed that he had been receiving complaints of the masses on the present hardship in the country and called on the customs boss to therefore brainstorm with his management team in this direction. He stressed:
“There is no food in the country, so, there is the need for the borders to be reopened for rice importation through land borders.”
The Sultan made the call on Monday, when the Comptroller-General of the Service, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd), paid him a courtesy visit in his palace in Sokoto.
He moreover commended the federal government’s renewed efforts to boost domestic production of rice and promised that the traditional institutions would continue to sensitize the people on the need to support the policies of the three tiers of government.
In the same vein, Governor Tambuwal of Sokoto state lamented the high cost of food items in the country, recommending special efforts to alleviate the issue.
In response, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd), promised that the management of the service would brainstorm on the request of the Sultan and present same to the government.
The customs boss explained that this is a federal government policy which does not start and stop on his table, but promised to present it to the government.
Ali solicited for the support of the Sultanate Council in ensuring the success of the fight against smuggling, which he says is crippling the nation’s economy and hindering Nigeria from getting the revenues she deserves.