The Area Comptroller, Eastern Marine Command, Port Harcourt, Nigeria Custom Service, Masaya A. M says Federal Government has not banned the importation of rice, government policy has rather prohibited such importation through land border.
He made the clarification when the state executive of Rivers State Independent Publishers Association (RIVPA), paid him a courtesy visit at his office in Port Harcourt.
He stated that importation of rice through seaports enable government effectively levy such transaction and provide the needed statistics for future planning.
Reiterating that rice importation is s huge source of revenue for the Nation and also provide massive employment for citizens.
Masaya noted that as part of efforts aimed at curbing the high rates of crime and arm proliferation in the country, the Federal Government has given Nigeria Custom Service an additional function called community security.
His words, ‘ Primarily, customs came to be in 1891, and we were initially called water Guard, and we are charged to protect thee Nations borders. Our main functions initially were only two; that is revenue collection and revenue generation.
‘Every year, government come up with policies. And these policies are to guide the Nation. Any time government make some policies or guidelines, we are to implement them. For instance, if the government says they have banned the importation of vehicles, who are assigned to implement this? Customs!
‘The function of the police is to protect lives and property, ours is to generate revenue and to implement government policies. So in addition to it, in the last century, the World Health Organisation, (WHO) and the World Customs Organisation came out to hold what we call trade facilitation. If you generate revenue, how will you bring about smooth collection? That was why they brought about trade facilitation and that became our third Executive function’.
In an earlier address, the Chairman of RIVPA, Gloria Boma Harry had solicited for synergy between the media and Nigeria Custom Service,