Nigeria set to shut down borders over rice smuggling
Nigeria says it is set to shut down its border with one of its African neighbors in a renewed effort to clampdown on rice smuggling.
Minister of Agriculture Chief Audu Ogbeh on Monday while speaking to some youths under the umbrella of the Guardians of the Nation GOTNI said the latest move was in an effort to protect the economy.
“Our other problem is smuggling. As we speak, a neighbor of ours is importing more rice than China is importing. They do not eat parboiled rice, they eat white rice, they use their ports to try and damage our economy. I am telling you now because in a few days, you will hear the border has been shut, we are going to shut it to protect you, us and protect our economy,” he said.
Chief Ogbeh who revealed that rice importation in the country had reduced by 95% also said there are currently about 30 million rice farmers presently in Nigeria.
“You will start seeing all sorts of negative things on the internet. Let me tell you why we need to shut the border, I grow rice, I was the first Nigerian to mill rice free of stones, if you plant rice in certain parcels of land, some poisonous materials gets into the rice.
“There are three kinds of water in their natural state; there is fresh water from the river, salt water from the sea, blackish water.
“If you go to the Delta in many countries, in South East Asia where they grow the rice, if you plant rice in the same place like four to six years continuously, the quantum of arsenic begins to increase and arsenic causes cancer and that is what they are dumping for us.
“Some people say they prefer Thai rice because they are very sophisticated, welcome to poison,’’ Ogbeh said.