The Rice Millers Association of Nigeria (RIMAN) has alerted of massive rice smuggling into the country.
Their alarm comes barely five weeks after the federal government reopened Nigerian borders.
The entry points were shut from August 20, 2019 to December 17, 2020
In a statement on Friday, RIMAN Chairman, Peter Dama, said tons of smuggled rice are being offloaded at the borders on a daily basis for transportation into Nigerian markets.
He listed borders frequently used as Babura, Kongolon, Ibadan, Oyo State, Seme, Owede, Benin, among others.
RIMAN urged the authorities to take urgent actions to stem the tide.
Dama demanded that vehicles used to transport smuggled rice into Nigeria be confiscated and the culprits arrested and prosecuted.
The chairman advised that bank accounts linked to distributors and marketers engaging in sabotage be blocked.
“We appeal to the government to set in motion committees made of various security agencies to raid markets and confiscate smuggled rice found.
“The ones good for consumption should be sent to IDPs, correctional centres and schools for feeding inmates and students. Stores owned by these economic saboteurs should be sealed.”
Dama said those found guilty must be made to pay fines or serve prison terms before their stores are reopened.
RIMAN commiserate with the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) over loss of its operatives in the line of duty.
The body told the government to provide additional equipment to the agency and adequately compensate serving and deceased officers.