Hope Uzodinma

The Senate Committee on Customs, Excise and Tariff says it has identified and compiled names of firms and individuals who are behind the persistent smuggling of rice across the country.

It also said the comprehensive report would soon be laid before the Senate plenary for consideration and further legislative action.

Chairman of the committee, Hope Uzodinma, who disclosed this in Abuja at the weekend, said the Minister of State for Agriculture, Heineken Lokpobiri, could not claim to be unaware of the development.

The lawmaker, therefore, called on government and all stakeholders to work together to checkmate this unwholesome economic trend.

He said: “We have identified the various identities of these smugglers. The Senate will take the decision on how best to stop those people because it has affected negatively the growth of our economy and the growth of genuine business activities.

“What is starling is that these people are in all the sectors of the economy.

“If we continue this way, it means that at the end of the day, we will be left with no economy at all and unemployment will continue to swell. So, government must take courage to bring these people to book and curb the excesses of these people and ensure there is genuine economic growth and business activity in the country.

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