Investigation by The Nation last week revealed that smugglers have resorted to using small buses to bring the staple food to the markets. In Ajilete area of Ogun State, The Nation found over 20 buses ferrying the commodity to neighbouring markets in Ogun and Lagos states. Between Owode and Luzada markets, investigations revealed that there was no Customs checkpoint in the area, a development which made smuggling to thrive in the area.
But at Atan, a town very closed to Luzada, there were two patrol vehicles of Customs from FOU “Zone A” on Sango Ota road.
Some of the rice traders, among them, Yinka Balogun, along the area, said rice smuggling went up as a result of increased charges introduced by the Federal Government, adding that the increase in duty payment to Customs, has created opportunity for importers to evade duty payment and encourage smuggling through the land borders.
Apart from rice, other smuggled goods include second hand vehicles, textile materials, bags, shoes, tyres, rice, frozen chicken and turkey, vegetable oil, soap, furniture sweet, apples, pineapple, palm oil, sweets and cigarettes