Nigerian maritime operators are calling on government to reverse its rice importation policy. They say that Nigerians 110 percent tax policy on rice is enriching neighboring economies in the west and central African regions.
It must be of interest to note that neighboring countries in the region have cashed in on Nigerians increased tariff on rice to boost their economies, by capitalizing on Nigerians huge market to reduce their levies on imported rice.
The result of the measures taken by these countries is that Rice shipments meant for the Nigerian market are now being channeled through ports in the sub region and then smuggled into Nigeria.
According to the chief executive officer of one of the terminals in Apapa port, Vicky Haastrop, the prevailing situation is gradually crippling business activities at the terminal.
In view of this, port users are urging for a reversal of the tariff on rice considering that the country is losing huge revenue to neighboring countries .
The re-introduction of import duty payment on rice at land borders, as ordered by the Comptroller general of Customs, retired Col.Hameed Ali, is generating comments from port users.