The Government of Niger Republic has banned the export of rice into Nigeria.
The ban follows President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive for the closure of Nigeria’s border with neighbouring countries to curtail the activities of smugglers.
The directive stated that the ban was to take effect from September 5.
In a circular dated September 5, 2019, Niger’s Director-General of Customs, Oumarou Amadu, ordered all relevant agencies to comply strictly or face severe sanctions.
Since the restriction of access to rice and 40 other commodities came into effect in 2015, Nigeria’s other neighbours, Benin, Cameroon and Togo, have not been so understanding of PMB’s protectionist policy.
Benin is said to have crashed its rice importation tariff to seven per cent, while Cameroon brought its own to zero per cent between 2015 and 2018.
These excise duty reductions have fuelled smuggling of parboiled rice into Nigeria.