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Ban on Rice Importation remains after Border Reopening

But Mr Joseph Attah, a spokesman for the Nigeria Customs Service, said that the ban on imports, including rice, was still in place.

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The Nigerian government says despite the opening of its land borders, a ban on imports, including rice and vehicles, has not been lifted.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday ordered the reopening of four land borders, which have been closed for more than a year.

Ban on Rice Importation

Borders opened by the government include Seme, Mfun, Ileleh and Maigatari.

The opening of the borders has been a source of great joy to Nigerians, especially in the hope that businesses will open up and benefit from the rising cost of living, especially as consumer prices continue to rise.

But Mr Joseph Attah, a spokesman for the Nigeria Customs Service, said that the ban on imports, including rice, was still in place.

The Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) on its website has listed products that the Nigerian government will not allow importation, they include;

  • The importation of rice, pasta and cooking oil is prohibited
  • The importation of European chickens or pasta with eggs and meat is prohibited
  • Sugar imports are banned
  • Canned tomatoes are banned
  • Cement imports are prohibited
  • The importation of bath and laundry soap and omo is prohibited
  • The importation of cardboard or bottled lemon juice (but does not apply to stimulants such as Power Horse) is prohibited.
  • The importation of drugs containing Paracetamol and Aspirin among others is prohibited
  • Mosquito repellent is banned
  • Recharge card restricted
  • Room entry is prohibited
  • The use of used air conditioners and refrigerators is prohibited
  • Imports of cars manufactured for more than 15 years are prohibited.

There are also several items that the government has banned from importing into the country as the customs department said on its website.

Mr Attah said the opening did not mean that everyone had to bring everything they wanted.

He said the move to open some of the borders would now allow Nigeria’s neighbours to conduct their border activities as required by law.

Since August last year, the Nigerian government has closed its land borders to improve security and develop local industries. But some feel that that was the wrong move by the government as they did not put anything in place to cushion the negative effects of closing the borders.

Some Nigerians think that there is no profit to be made from the government’s closure of the country’s borders, arguing that food prices have not fallen and that the security situation is deteriorating.

Although the Nigerian Customs Service says, it has achieved diplomatic success with neighbouring countries, due to past misunderstandings, which has now subsided.

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