Border closure: 77 days after, foreign rice still flood Sokoto market

With more than two months and few days after the closure of land borders, all major markets and stores in Sokoto still flooded with foreign rice.

An investigation conducted by our correspondent revealed that despite the closure and ban on foreign rice by the federal government, scores of imported rice are still being sold in Sokoto.

When Nigerian Tribune visited the popular old market, most dealers of rice were seen displayed the imported Tomato rice which is most common rice in the state before the closure of border.

A resident who spoke with our correspondent on condition of anonymity disclosed that the closure of border has no major effects on the importation of foreign rice into the state.

He said, “the only thing I can say is that the border closure and subsequently ban on imported rice is only to help people to make more money.

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“I said this because of how much is the percentage of increment to both local and foreign rice in the market.

“A 50kg of foreign rice before the closure of border was between 12,500 and 13,000 naira, while same size of best local rice was around 10,000 naira.

“As I am talking to you now, same size of foreign rice is 18,000 while local rice goes for between 16,500 and 17,500 naira in the market.

“For the policy to work effectively, the price of the local rice should be controlled by the government and make it affordable to the people” he added.

Meanwhile, investigation conducted by our correspondent across the state capital revealed that almost all the major markets and stores still displayed the products.

When contacted, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) for the Nigerian Customs Service in Sokoto, Magaji Mailafiya, asked our correspondent to direct the questions to Mr John Attah, spokesman of border drill operations, who is also the National public relations officer of Nigerian Customs Service.

All efforts to speak with him was not successful.

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