Renewed Smuggling Threatens N3.4tr Rice Investment in the Processing Sub-sector- RIPAN

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The renewed foreign smuggling into the Country is threatening the N3.4 trillion investments in processing sub-sector of the , the Director General of the Processors Association of (RIPAN) Mr Andy Ekwelem has said.

Mr Ekwelem, disclosed this at a news conference held in weekend, warned that if not checked, the gains already recorded may be eroded just as over thirteen (13) million may be lost in the value chain.

He said imported has flooded markets despite the ban imposed on the product by government to encourage local production and self-sufficiency.

He called for the criminalization of the possession and sale of foreign rice in the country, adding that renewed fortification of our borders by the customs and other security agencies would go a long way in checking the rising trend.

According to him, the new trend is a source of concern not only to processors are struggling to compete their counterparts abroad in terms of , but also to growers are apprehensive that if the trend continues, may be forced out of business.

However investigations have revealed that the recent reopening of some land borders has aggravated the importation of the commodity.

President had in December, 2020, directed that the four land borders that were closed in 2019 be reopened, precipitating the current upsurge in the business.