There are strong indications that expired foreign rice smuggled into the country may have flooded Nigerian markets, the commodity, according to LEADERSHIP investigation is being imported from neighboring Benin Republic into Nigeria. Nigeria shares major borders with Benin Republic at Seme Border (Lagos), Idiroko (Ogun State), Shaki (Oyo State) and Chikanda (Kwara State). It was gathered that a larger percentage of rice imported into the Francophone country were meant for sale in Nigeria. The rice has been exposed to poor storage facilities, rain, weevils and other unhygienic forms of storage, thereby making the commodity toxic and not fit for human consumption anymore. However, the unwholesome commodity is also smuggled into the country through methods that include pouring grains of rice into various crevices of vehicles. The product is also believed to be conveyed in open wooden canoes across creeks and waterways with large quantity of unhygienic waters splashing on them. It was gathered that despite the very obvious activities of the Federal Operation Unit (FOU) A, Ikeja to stem smuggling, border commands of Seme, Idiroko, Oyo/Oshun – have not been able to check smuggling of these toxic commodities from getting into Nigeria in large quantities. Recall that FOU A had seized over 29,750 bags of 50kg of smuggled rice with Duty Paid Value of N193m and arrested over 163 suspects from January to September 2016. The same cannot be said of Seme, Idiroko and Oyo/Oshun Command who had the primary responsibility of policing the borders.
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