Tag Archives: rice

Border Closure: Trader remanded over smuggling 180 bags of foreign rice

Justice Patricia Ajoku of the Federal High Court, Ibadan, on Monday ordered that trader, Kabir Folorunso, or allegedly smuggled-in 180 bags of banned foreign rice, be remanded in a correction centre, pending bail.

Ajoku ordered the defendant, who hails from Ogbomoso, in Oyo state, to be remanded in Agodi Correctional Centre after he had pleaded not guilty to the charge.

She adjourned the case until April 23, for bail application and fixed Apri, 26 for commencement of trial.

Earlier, Counsel to the Nigeria Customs Service, Mr Musa Onimisi, told the court that the defendant was arraigned on a charge bordering on unlawful dealing in contraband.

He alleged that the defendant committed the offence on Oct. 19, 2019, on the Ogbomoso-Igbeti road, Oyo State.

He told the court the operatives of the customs service apprehended the defendant, as he allegedly tried to smuggle in the 180 bags of banned imported rice in an ash-coloured truck with Reg. no. STA11XA.

The prosecutor said that the offence contravened the provisions of Section 164 (A) of Custom and Excise Act 2004.


Nigeria to begin exportation of rice, come 2022 ..

Nigeria’s agriculture and rural development minister Muhammad Sabo Nanono said the country will begin exportation of its locally produced rice in 2022.

Nanono made this disclosure during a press conference after a working visit of the Nestle Nigeria Public Limited Company (PLC) Office in Lagos on Tuesday.

“If we maintain the momentum in the next two years, we may export rice to other countries,” Nanono said.

“I was worried in terms of the production of rice, but what I have found out is that most rice producers have stocked rice for the next six months.

“This means that before the stock is finished, dry season rice will be harvested, and before that finishes, rainy season will come back.”

Nanono noted that Nigeria’s current land border closure had resulted in increased outputs by many rice milling plants that were operating below capacities before the closure.

He stated that despite the annual three months- November to January when rice is not planted, the nine-month cycle is enough for Nigeria to process sufficient rice for local consumption and exportation.

“As at today, we have 11 rice milling plants with the capacity to produce from 180 tonnes to 350 tonnes of rice per day,” Nanono said.

“In a few months, another mill with a capacity to produce 400 tonnes of rice per day is going to be opened, with another upcoming 34 smaller mills; then, we have clusters in different areas.”

He added that the local rice farmers were fully engaged and used between 200 farmlands and 300 farmlands directly.


17-year-old arraigned for rice farm destruction guilt in ekiti

The police in Ekiti State have arraigned 17-year-old boy, Bumba Karba, before an Ado Ekiti Chief Magistrate Court over unlawful destruction of a rice farm.

Karba was arraigned alongside Nafiu Mohammed and Mohammed Audu for grazing their cattle on the farm located at Okemesi Ekiti with others still at large on January 7, causing massive destruction on the land.

Police prosecutor, Johnson Okunade, said the total damage caused by the accused person to the farm belonging to Olusola Sanni was N4.5m.

The accused however, pleaded not guilty.

Upon their application for bail, the Chief Magistrate, Mr Adesoji Adegboye, granted the defendants bail in the sum of N500,000 with two sureties each in like sum and adjourned the case until February 24, 2020, for hearing


Just in: NIS intercepts 42 contraband bag of rice

The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) intercepted 42 bags of foreign rice at Kankara axis of Katisna State.

The Service Public Relations Officer (SPRO), Mr Sunday James, who disclosed this in a statement made available to Media, on Saturday in Abuja, said that it was concealed in a vehicle.
James said that the officers were on routine patrol along the Kankara axis when they apprehended a vehicle carrying the contraband.

He said that the Command Comptroller Nigeria Immigration Service, Katsina state command, Yakubu Umar, handed over the 42 bags of rice to the Nigeria Customs Service.

The Comptroller General, NIS, Mr Muhammad Babandede congratulated the officers for a well coordinated outing imploring them to be more dedicated to the national course and keep the border secured for a safe nation.


Army seized 85 bags of rice smuggled in Ebonyi.

The Nigerian Army has intercepted no fewer than 85 bags of smuggled rice in a compound in Abor-Uwani community in Afikpo North Local Government Area of Ebonyi.

The raid was part of the ongoing “Exercise Atilogwu Udo 1’’. Col. Aliyu Yusuf, Deputy Director, Public Relations of 82 Division of the Nigerian Army disclosed this in a statement on Saturday.

Yusuf said that the smuggled bags of rice, each weighing 50kg, were intercepted on December 19 through intelligence received by troops of Sector 6 (Abakaliki) of the exercise.

“Troops on patrol following a tip-off from the Department of State Security (DSS) raided a compound where a Mercedes Benz truck loaded with 85 bags of suspected smuggled foreign rice was packed.

“This was in Abor-Uwani community in Afikpo North Local Government Area (LGA) of Ebonyi State. The suspects; Bartholomew Obioha Nwankwo, 49, and Mr Nkama Agu, 57, – both from Unwana community in Afikpo North LGA were arrested in connection with the smuggled rice,’’ he said.

The army spokesman added that the suspects, the truck, and the bags of rice had been handed over to the Ebonyi State Commissioner for Internal Affairs for further action. Yusuf said that in a related development, troops in Sector 6 in conjunction with the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) recently raided the hideout of suspected drug dealers in Abakaliki town.

“Five suspects were arrested while items recovered in the area included suspected wraps of Indian Hemp, tramadol, and cocaine among other things. He added that a brown Mercedes Benz car with registration number Ebonyi NAC 399 AA was seized.

“Suspects and exhibits have been handed over to the relevant security agency for further action,’’ he said. “Exercise Atilogwu Udo 1’’, otherwise known as Peaceful Dance, is currently ongoing in the South-East zone and Cross River within the Area of Responsibility (AOR) of the 82 division of the army.


Customs seized foreign foods, vegetable oil, rice in Adamawa.

The Nigeria Customs Service has revealed that it seized foreign rice and some food commodities in its raid of a market in Adamawa State.

The Adamawa/Taraba command in the raid led by Comptroller of Customs in charge of the two states, Kamardin Olumoh, said that contraband goods worth millions of naira smuggled into the country were seized.


Seme customs intercept 47 trucks smuggling rice.

… Arrests 47 suspects, convicts 4 for border crimes, impounds hard drugs

The Seme Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NSC) said it intercepted 47 trailers load of foreign parboiled rice smuggled into the country in 2019.

This is even as the Command arrested 47 suspects for various border crimes while four were convicted having pleaded guilty to the charges levelled against them by the Federal High Ikoyi in Lagos State.

However, within the same period under review, hard drugs and narcotics worth N37,874,400.00 were impounded by the officers of the Command.

In a press statement made available to our correspondent by the command’s Public Relations Officer, Husaini Abdulahi, the Customs Area Controller of Seme, Compt. Muhammed Uba said the seizures which are equivalent of 28,180 bags were worth N778m.

According to the statement, the Command made a total seizure of N1.6billion which includes vehicles, used clothing, textiles and vegetable oil.

The statement reads: “Compt. Uba mentioned that, within the period of 11 months reviewed, the Command’s anti-smuggling operations yielded a total of 1,302 seizures with the duty paid value (DPV) of N 1,6billion.”

“These seizures include the following: 28,180x50kg bags of foreign parboiled rice, equivalent to 47 trailers load with DPV plus levy of N778million, Sugar 140x50kg with DPV N588,000, 62 used vehicles and means of conveyance worth N220million.”

Others were 1,100 bales of used clothing and 101 sacks of used clothing worth N70million, 185 sacks of shoes, bags, belt, slippers both new and used worth N28billion, the statement said.

The statement indicated that the command also intercepted smuggled textile materials worth N11million and frozen poultry worth N49million.

About “1,539 bales of six yard, 30 bales of seven yards, 16 bales of 6 yards textile materials and wrappers worth N11million, 5,489 cartons of frozen poultry products worth N49 million, 397 kegs of 25 litres of vegetable oil, nine kegs of 10 litres and 37 kegs of five litres of vegetable oil worth N139 million and 2,109 kegs of 25 litres of premium motor spirit (PMS) worth N 8million,” were intercepted.

“General merchandise worth14, 955 items with DPV of N 234 million, hard drugs narcotics 1992 parcels DPV N38 billion,” were also seized the statement added.

However, the Comptroller attributed the harvest of seizures recorded during the period under review to the strategic policy measures put in place to tackle the menace of smuggling, irregular migrations and other trans-border crimes.

He further reiterated his commitment to ensuring that smuggling business becomes unattractive through vigorous community and public enlightenment, sensitization on the dangers of smuggling and its impact on economy and national security.

The Comptroller urged economic saboteurs to take the advantage of various Federal Government programmes on agriculture such as the Anchor Borrowers’ Scheme for rice farming, growth enhancement support scheme (GESS), government enterprises and empowerment programme (GEEP) and many others and key into for legitimate earning.

Similarly, the command collected the sum of N4.9 billion from January till date, representing 76 per cent of its annual allotted target of N 6.5billion the amount which is lower compared to N5billion recorded same period of 2018; the shortfalls it was learnt was as a result of border drill exercise that was initiated by Federal Government, which commenced on August 20 this year, placing temporary embargo on movement of goods through the land borders nationwide.


RIFAN joins Ministry of Water to boost rice production.

Ministry of Water Resources and Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), on Friday, signed an MoU for proper utilisation of the irrigation channels of the 12 River Basin Development Authorities (RBDA) to boost rice farming across the country.

The President of RIFAN, Mr Aminu Goronyo, told newsmen in Abuja that the Minister of Water Resources, Mr Suleiman Adamu, signed the MoU.

He said that the minister described the move as his contribution toward the Presidential Initiative to make Nigeria the rice hub in Africa and to ensure food security.

Goronyo added that the minister said government was determined to reposition and strengthen the RBDAs to become major economic nerve-centres in line with government’s economic diversification policy.

He said for proper utilization, the RBDAs were undergoing structural reforms toward partial and eventually full commercialisation of their operations, as the National Council on Privatisation approved the appointment of a transaction adviser to guide the process.

The RIFAN boss said “the ministry initiated the National Irrigation Programme with the aim of establishing additional 100,000 hectares of irrigated farmland by 2020.”

Goronyo added that the move was imperative “following increased food demand due to growing population.”

He explained that since most agriculture across the country was currently rain-fed, increased availability of irrigation by farmers was essential and in high demand.

He, however, noted that “because the ministry has the capacity to speed up the economic diversification moves, RIFAN seek the assistance of the minister for the utilization of its 116 facilities, including 38 irrigation and drainage projects, 37 dams and 41 water supply projects spread nationwide.”

The facilities include — River Basin Authorities such as that of Anambra-Imo, Benin- Owena, Chad Basin, Cross River, Hadejia-Jama’are, Lower Benue and Lower Niger.

Others are the Niger Delta; Ogun – Osun; Sokoto – Rima; Upper Benue and Upper Niger Basin Authorities.

The rice farmers association president said that the approval would reposition and strengthen farmers to produce more “and make the country a major economic nerve-centre in rice production line with government’s economic diversification policy.”

Goronyo, who noted that a token irrigation water charge would be paid in bulk to the RBDAs, said the irrigation scheme would help farmers in rice production three times a year with bumper harvest.

He said the minister also promised to meet with heads of all the affected RBDAs to work out modalities for work to commence.

He disclosed that the move was also in line with the promise made by President Muhammadu Buhari that goverrnment would revive all the 12 River Basin Development Authorities to boost agricultural activities across the country.

Goronyo added that “while irrigation is essential for rice productivity improvement, there is need for complementary services, infrastructure and institutions for greater impact on production and wellbeing.”

He, however, said that RIFAN, under the Anchor Borrowers Programme of the Central Bank of Nigeria, would accompany the scheme as others under the rain fed through the provision of institutional support services and complementary farm inputs.

These include the facilitation of access to farm inputs such as fertilizer and herbicide.


Benue: IDPs Gifted Food In Guma And Makurdi By ICRC.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has donated food items to over 80,000 internally displaced persons in Guma and Makurdi local government areas of Benue State.

The Committee is also carrying out a livestock de-worming campaign, which has reached over 100,000 cattle and other small ruminants belonging to pastoralist communities affected by violence in Nasarawa State.

The assistance, according to Majid Bakhtiary, Head of the ICRC sub-delegation in Jos, were provided to alleviate the suffering of people in the affected areas.

“The humanitarian situation here is difficult, and the ICRC helps the most vulnerable communities,” Bakhtiary said.

Daily Sun gathered that the six weeks de-worming campaign which aims to improve the health condition of about 100,000 cattle and 40,000 sheep and goats of livestock owners, started on November 12 in Awe, Keana and Nasarawa local government areas of the state.

At the same time, the ICRC in collaboration with the Nigeria Red Cross Society (NRCS) concluded food distribution to some 80,000 people in displacement camps in Guma and Makurdi local government areas.

Additionally, the ICRC in partnership with the Department of Livestock and Veterinary Services in Plateau State trained 160 people, among them NRCS volunteers, community animal health workers and community leaders.

The training covered basic animal disease and treatment that would enable participants to assist livestock herders in remote areas where veterinary services are not available.

Bakhtiary recalled that in November, 25 veterinarians and community animal health workers from 20 states received training in Abuja on livestock emergency guidelines to treat animal disease in conflict-affected areas.


Bringing Japan’s Experience Of Rice To Nigeria.

…state importance

Rice is one of the most-consumed staples in Nigeria with consumption per capita of 32 kilogrammes (kg), says PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), a multinational professional services network.Given its importance, boosting its production has been accorded high priority by the government.

So far, significant progress has been made with increase in local rice production.The efforts are starting to yield results, and Nigeria is now producing 3.7 million tonnes of rice annually, according to the US Department of Agriculture, World Markets and Trade.But the nation consumes almost seven million tonnes a year.

To boost food security, the government has curbed imports and is trying to encourage more rice production. But there’s still a lot more work tto be done.
Despite this, rice statistics suggest there is an enormous potential to raise productivity and increase production. More rice is needed to meet the population which is growing at three per cent per year.

To this end, Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (NIDO), Asia Chapter has mounted a campaign to boost local production with increased mechanisation to raise yields, reduce post-harvest losses and increase income generated by farmers.

One of the critical constraints in developing rice value chain is low quality rice. For the association, it has become critical to improve the quality of rice produced, processed and marketed in the country.

For a start, NIDO is providing agricultural machinery to increase rice production.Speaking in Lagos, the President, NIDO, Asia Chapter, Prof. Emenike Ejiogu, said the association and its Japanese partners were introducing the modular integrated processor to farmers.

The machine handles pre-cleaning, hulling and sorting functions.Ejiogu said training on the machine operation was given to operators and processors. According to him, the association is ready to work with famers to introduce good rice varieties suitable for the local characteristics and extended production techniques for those varieties.

On the border closure, he lauded the government, saying:“We commend President Muhammadu Buhari on the border closure and urge all hands to be on deck to ensure that the era of foreign rice is over in Nigeria. “If all Nigerians buy and eat local rice, it will not only boost the economy of the country but also generate more employment for jobless youths.”

The Public Relations Officer, NIDO Asia, Ochade Osekwe, an engineer, said the organisation was the umbrella body of Nigerians living in Asia. According to him, improving food security has become a priority to boost rural development and alleviate poverty.

He said it was part of NIDO’s contributions to ensure that rice produced locally met demands. He said the group put importance on sharing Japan’s experiences in agricultural development.

He said it was valuable for Nigerian farmers to learn about Japan’s agricultural system to enable them increase food production using simple technologies.

He said the group was determined to support small-scale farmers to acquire rice processing skills and technologies to further strengthen their capacity to improve quality.Under the campaign, Osekwe said NIDO was working with technical experts from Kanryu Industry Limited, Japan; Ino Inc, Japan and Mirai Denchi Nigeria Limited, a subsidiary of Mirai Denchi lnc, Japan.He said NIDO was ready to work with the Federal Government to achieve long-term and nationwide food security.During the workshop, the experts from Japan taught and practically demonstrated the use of machines in de-husking, de-hulling, de-stoning and polishing of rice.#Newsworthy…

6 million venture into rice production in Nigeria

…as border remain closed

Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said no fewer than six million people, mostly youths are venturing into rice production following the impact of the border closure on rice value chain.

The minister disclosed this on Thursday in Kano when he led a stakeholder in the rice production to the state Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje.

NobleReporters culled that Mohammed, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono, are in Kano on assessment tour of the impact of the border drill on the entire rice production value chain.

“Before the drill, which some people have referred to as border closure, there were 12.2 million rice farmers in Nigeria, according to the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN).

“The farmers were cultivating rice twice a year. Now, many rice farmers across the country have started three-times-a-year cultivation in order to meet the increasing demand.

“Not only that, at least 6 million people, mostly youths, are now venturing into rice production, meaning that we could hit 18 million rice farmers in no time if the present trend continues,” he said

Mohammed said that Nigeria’s quest to achieve self sufficiency in rice production will be hastened by the increasing activities in the rice production value chain brought about by the border drill.

He added that self sufficiency in rice production would also translate to more jobs for millions of people as well as cheaper and more nutritious rice for all.

“We can now tell you, without mincing words, that the border drill has impacted positively on rice production in the country,” he said.


Border Closure, Good Or Bad? Local Rice Price Has Increased To 20,000 Naira In Oyo And In Minna, 16,000 Naira. (See full inflations)..

Price of rice, a staple consumed during festivities in Nigeria, has risen by over 29.41 per cent since July, along with other foodstuffs. This is even as Christmas is just a few weeks away, Anna Okon reports
before August 28 when the Nigeria Customs Service closed the borders against her neighbours, the price of rice was N17,000 per 50-kilogramme bag, having risen from N14, 000 a few months before.

Currently the price of foreign parboiled rice, has gone up to between N22, 000 and N30, 000, findings by our correspondent have shown.

Also, the price of local rice that is positioned to replace foreign ones on Nigeria’s dietary palate has also gone up.

It was gathered that the local rice at Bodija market in Ibadan, Oyo State, was being sold for N20, 000 per 50kg bag and N16, 000/50kg in Minna, Niger State.

In Garko Market, Kano, it sells for N20, 000/50kg bag.

In Lapal, Niger State; Gboko, Benue State; Maitagari, Jigawa State and Ughelli, Delta State, local rice sells for N18,000/50kg, N11,000/50kg, N19,000/50kg and N23,000/50kg bag, respectively.

In Egbeda Market in Lagos, local rice sells for about N18, 000; in Umuahia main market, Abia State, it sells for N22, 000.

The popular Ofada rice, consumed for its rich nutritional value and great flavour, sells for N28, 000 per 50kg bag and between N2, 800 and N3, 500 per 5kg bag.

This was not the case in July as data from Nigerian agriculture produce portals show.

In July, imported rice was N17, 000; local rice sold for between N11, 000 and N15, 000 for 50kg bag.

Other staples such as noodles, chicken and mackerel (ice fish) have also witnessed price increases.

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Mackerel, for instance, has increased from between N950 and N1,000 per kilo to N1, 200/kilo. The price of noodles has moved from between N1,800 and N1,950 per carton to N2,100.

The breeder agriculture chicken sold for N4,500 in October, according to the National Bureau of Statistics, currently sells for between N5,000 and N5, 500.

The NBS in its Consumer Price Index which measures inflation stated that inflation rate hit 11.61 per cent in October from 11.24 in September, increasing by 0.37 per cent.

The bureau stated that this was the highest increase in eight months.

Some consumers said it would be tough to buy food items for the Yuletide season.

One of them, a housewife, Buky Olaoye, said, “The only way to do it is to buy items from far away markets where things are cheaper. Instead of buying foodstuffs in Ikeja, for instance, we will have to buy from Oyingbo or Egbeda.

“Also, it will be wise for two or more people to come together and buy in bulk and then share items.”

The Director General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr Muda Yusuf, said the months ahead would be tough for consumers.

He said at this time of the year, due to high demand ahead of the festive season, rice and other staples usually witnessed increase in price.

Yusuf said, “However, this year has been more severe because of the border closure as a large supply of food items comes from neighbouring countries and once that supply is suddenly cut off, then it leads to scarcity.

“Things will likely continue to be tight for consumers up till early next year and it affects other commodities apart from rice as people try to find cheaper alternatives.”

He advised the government to intensify efforts at boosting local production.

He said, “Productivity is still very low. Many farmers are still relying on the traditional method of farming. That cannot feed 200 million people.

“Government should do something fast because this is a real social problem. The government should consider the plight of those who are paying the high prices.”

The Director General, Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association, Mr Timothy Olawale, said the government had achieved economic and security gains from the border closure.

Olawale said the same could not be said for the ordinary man in view of skyrocketing prices of food.

He said, “One had expected that the price of rice for instance would crash due to local production. A bag of rice that went for N14, 000 before border closure now sells for N26, 000.

“Turkey and chicken are now so prohibitive that other options like beef and goat meat are no longer preferred alternatives as they have also joined the league of food out of the reach of the masses.

“This underscores the fact that Nigeria is not self-sufficient in food production as wrongly assumed by the government. Workers’ take-home or pay can no longer take them beyond the bus stop.

“The masses are totally at the receiving end. Businesses especially in the hospitality sector have not fared well as the cost of stocking food is gradually becoming a Herculean task with food cost served guests per cover being increased.”

He said the border closure would not have been necessary if the government agents put in charge of manning them were efficient.

“Nigerians are choking and gradually being emasculated by this economic strangulation. Only timely interventions by government will save the situation,” he said.

Olawale argued that the passage of the new finance bill that would increase Value Added Tax, excise duties and other levies would bring untold hardship on the common man.

“Nigerians are urged to tighten their belts and prepare for real hard times as it seems government interest and economic agenda geared towards the maximisation of revenue at the expense of the welfare of the masses,” he said.

The Chief Executive Officer of Comtrade Group, an agriculture conglomerate, Mr Abiodun Oladapo, said most agro entrepreneurs had abandoned their infrastructure used in the production of food locally because smuggling of the products had sent them out of business.

He said, “These people are returning to their farms now that the borders have been shut and the demand for food is rising.

“It will take time because for chicken alone, it will take a minimum of 42 days to breed; the same for many other items.”

Oladapo, who is in support of the border closure, gave the assurances that if it was sustained, local farmers would produce enough to crash the prices of food.