Smuggling: A Serious Threat To Nigeria’s Economy, Says Osinbajo
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), has said that Nigeria will no longer the act of smuggling contraband goods from neighboring countries into Nigeria.
The Vice President said this on Monday, at the 6th presidential quartely business forum for private sector stakeholders, at the Old Banquet Hall, State House, Abuja.
Osinbajo noted that President Muhamma du Buhari, in an effort to bring smuggling activities to an end, has ordered him to head a team to work out what needs to be done.
“We are making the point to our neighbors, that smuggling is an existential threat, we can’t permit the level of smuggling going on.
“Last year, there was over 500,000 metric tonnes of rice around Christmas, which the Minister of Agriculture told us about and how it came in through one of our neighbours, but we blocked it.
“Now, three shiploads of rice have left Thailand, 120,000 metric tonnes, going to this same neighbour of ours who have very large warehouses where they store this rice. It is very clear that this rice is for us because our neighbours don’t consume parboiled rice, they consume the white broken rice. It is clear that our neighbours do excellent business, with allowing rice to come into Nigeria and other products including poultry
“I think it is important for us as a country, to make the point clear, that we are not going to accept that. We are all within the same economic zone and work together, so we go in a friendly and polite manner as possible, to ensure that this practice stops,” Osinbajo said.
The Vice President further mentioned that the duty in some of these neighboring countries, especially for rice, is deliberately set lower than that of Nigeria, about a fourth of ours.
“We have increased duty tax so as to discourage importation but they would naturally drop duty to encourage import and then it would come to Nigeria,” Osinbajo stressed.