Reps proposes life imprisonment as punishment for importing rice

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The House of Representatives has before it a law seeking to prohibit importation of rice and life imprisonment as punishment for anyone guilty of the law.

The Vanguard reports that the Bill is titled, “An Act to Provide for the Prohibition of Importation into Nigeria of Rice and the Penalty for the Contravention of the Said Prohibition and other Related Matters”.

The Bill sponsored by Rep. Saidu Musa Abdulahi stated that “Any person who brings, causes to be brought, induced any other person to bring or attempts to bring Rice into Nigeria, shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to imprisonment, as stipulated in section 2 of the Export (Prohibition) Act”.

Section 2 of the Export Prohibition Act, states that:” Any person who takes, causes to be taken, induces any other person to take or attempts to take out of Nigeria any of the goods specified in the Schedule to this Act, shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to imprisonment for life”.

It also warned that “Any customs officer or other person who aids, counsels, procures, or conspires with any other person to commit an offence under this section, shall be liable on conviction to the same punishment as prescribed for the offence under subsection (1) of this section”.

The piece of legislation, adds that “An offence committed under this Bill, shall be triable by the Federal High Court”.

The Bill is expected to be considered and passed by the House this month.

Recall the Buhari administration shut down all land borders in the county in August 2019 citing that the country needed to stop the struggling of drugs, small arms and agricultural products, especially rice.

The Federal Government reopened the land borders on December 16, 2020 but said the restriction on the importation of some commodities, like rice and other products, would continue to be enforced.

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