Nigeria Customs Boss, Hameed Ali, has stated that 99% of rice smuggled into the country are unfit for human consumption.

Speaking at a conference in Abuja, he said the test reports certified that smuggled rice through the borders was unfit for human consumption.

“We have seen rice conveyed in open wooden canoes across our creeks and water ways with generous amount of dirty waters splashing on them.

“We have seen some mixed with other grains bags to deceive customs; some are stuffed inside any available crevice and compartments of vehicles, including the engine area.

“The concealed rice is thereafter re-bagged half cooked and presented in our markets for sale as imported rice.

“Bags of rice meant for Nigerians’ consumption (are) being conveyed in coffins inside make shift ambulance vehicles.

“Often time, importers in the borders have to wait for months for the green light from corrupt customs officials before they gamble their ways across the borders.

“Rice being a perishable product, lose valuable shelve life in non conductive strong conditions.

“We have strong evidence linking some reputable importers to cases of re-bagging expired rice to prolong their shelve life,’’ he added.

He however added that several state governments are investing massively in rice production and that it would soon be readily available locally.

News Agency of Nigeria

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