Nigeria Customs Service has commenced the sealing up of warehouses of four defaulting Rice Importers who have refused to pay their total debt profile of N23,603,479,402.44. They are: Olam; Stallion/Popular Foods/Masco Agro; Ebony Agro and Conti Agro (MILAN).
In addition to the sealing up of their warehouses, the importers and their sister or associated Companies have been blocked from the Customs Nigeria Integrated Customs Information System (NICIS) system, meaning they will not be able to make further declaration and not be allowed to discharge.
The action is intended to give a bite to several letters of warming and ultimatum to the beneficiaries of rice import quota policy who imported in excess of their approved quotas, according to a statement signed by Joseph Attah, Deputy Public Relations Officer on Tuesday.
“To ensure that every amount owed Federal Government is recovered; a full scale legal action will be instituted against them,” the statement added.
Nigeria Customs Service assured the public that it is not aversed to concessions that help to engineer economic growth but will not relent on its role of holding beneficiaries accountable to their obligations.
“For the avoidance of doubt, Genuine Importers are hereby advised not to exercise any fear as NCS action is only about enforcing payments that are legitimately due to the Federal Government of Nigeria,” he said.