House of Reps to probe rice importers

The House of Representatives Thursday resolved to investigate companies involved in rice importation under the federal government policy aimed at encouraging investment in local rice production.

The crux of the matter that precipitated the motion that led to the resolution was the allegation that some companies in concert with some foreign investors have imported the commodity in a manner that exceeded “their approved quota and thus owe the federal government about N28,399 billion.”

The companies fingered are: Stallion Group, Popular Foods and Olam Nigeria Limited.

The House regretted that Stallion Group/ Popular Foods, with an unpaid outstanding import duty of over N15 billion, has imported another 85,000 metric tonnes of rice into the country.

Hon. Simon Arabo (PDP, Kaduna) expressed concern “that the actions of these companies are capable of scuttling the nation’s self-sufficiency drive in rice production and an act which deny the federal government the needed revenue on import duties.”

Credit: Muhammad Bello/ThisDay