A law to ban the importation of rice into Nigeria is underway in the House of representatives.
The bill is entitled “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,” is sponsored by a house member Rep. Saidu Musa Abdullahi, Vanguard reported.
The bill provides that the punishment for the importation of rice in the country will be life imprisonment, as well as the forfeiture of the assets mobile or immobile “used in connection with the importation process,” including aircraft, vessels, vehicle.
The piece of legislature states 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”.
The bill also warns that “(2) in addition to the penalty specified in the subsection. 1, of this section, (a) the rice, as well as any vehicle, vessel, aircraft or another thing whatsoever used in connection with the importation, all the assets, movable, or immovable, including motor vehicles, of any person convicted of the offence, shall be forfeited to the Federal Government”.
“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 bill warned.
The added that “An offence committed under this Bill, shall be triable by the Federal High Court”.
The House of Representatives is expected to consider and pass the bill this month according to Vanguard.
Ifunanya Ikueze is an Engineer, Safety Professional, Writer, Investor, Entrepreneur and Educator.