President Muhammadu Buhari earlier said that the partial closure of Nigeria Benin Border, was due to the massive smuggling activities, especially of rice, taking place in that axis.
As a move /effort to tackle smuggling and associated corruption, and also to boost the domestic agricultural industry. Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, first ordered the closure of Nigeria Benin border in August of 2019, preventing the import of goods via land.
The Nigeria Benin border was reopened and closed again on the 14th of October 2019, for the same reason.
Yes, it’s a good initiative, trying to improve the agricultural but the approach is definitely wrong and was poorly executed by the Nigerian government.
The closure of Nigeria Benin border has significantly affected the prices of food items and increased the hardship of the common Nigerian.
With the market for smuggled food now restricted, domestic food prices already high, have gone higher up from 350 Naira per Derica tin /16,000- 19,000 Naira per 50kg bag to 500-550 Naira per Derica tin/a bag of rice now selling for 32-35 thousand naira.
The economy of neighboring Benin Republic —A staging area for smuggling into Nigeria, with an economy reliant on importation, has been devastated and it’s people and President have cried out.
Imports into Nigeria are to come through seaports, where customs duties can be imposed more easily than at land borders.
However, oil exports are not affected.
Nigerian rice production has risen as anticipated, and so has smuggling and the price of rice.
The exercise, code-named, ‘Ex-Swift Response’, is jointly conducted by the Customs, Immigration, Police, and Army, and coordinated by the Office of the National Security Adviser.
In conjunction with the announcement of additional border closures, Hameed Ali, COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF THE NIGERIAN CUSTOMS SERVICES, announced that there is no timeline for reopening the borders, which will remained closed “until we have total control over what comes in.”
This, however, is not the bone of contention. The bone of contention is that; when there is a will, there is a way, and some citizens, have found other ways of smuggling rice on bikes, rusty car bumpers, Cruddy fuel tanks and also underneath the seats of the smugglers’ vehicles into the Country.
These bikes and vehicles travel through the rough and muddy terrains of villages and bush paths between Nigeria and the border town of Seme -Benin Republic.
The hygiene condition is so upsetting, and unacceptable, posing health dangers to the commoners who just want to buy rice and eat to survive.
Watch the video for yourselves. This is sad.
In the other news, there is another local scam going on within the citizenry, which I refer to as the scam of the year! Some criminally-minded traders source for, and buy locally produced rice, for about 6,900 naira per bag, and then re-bag as foreign rice, and sell at 19,000 naira against the present price of a bag of rice, which is over 30 thousand Naira per bag.
Nigerians which way forward?
Please make sure that the rice that you are buying for “cheap”, is not the aforementioned rice.
Also double-check and cross-check when buying rice, to make sure that you are not buying rice that was smuggled in through bumpers and fuel tanks, for your health sake, but it is even almost impossible to know.
First, it was the era of plastic rice from, God knows where, you all remember don’t you? Now, this!
Na waooooooooooooooo ooooooooh!
E be like say I no go chop rice again for now until I can trust the source! I can’t shout oh.
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