Fear Rises Over Alleged Toxic Rice In Nigeria

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture has said that all foreign brands of rice in Nigeria at the moment were smuggled. It also said that according to tests conducted on the rice, some were found to be poisonous.

It also stated that the different varieties of rice currently consumed in Nigeria were smuggled based on submissions by the Consumer Protection Council that it had not seen any ‘Form M’,  a mandatory documentation process put in place by the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of Nigeria to monitor goods that are imported into the country, for rice importation since the beginning of this year.
Heineken Lokpobiri, the Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, speaking at a stakeholders’ engagement programme on how to stop the importation and smuggling of frozen poultry and rice into the country, said the rice had been stored in silos for close to 15 years and had no nutritional value. He also said they were preserved with chemicals used to embalm coprses.

“For imported rice, we don’t know how long it had been in their (exporters) silos. Recently, one country decided to bring in a shipload of rice into Nigeria so that we can use it to support the IDPs (Internationally Displaced Persons) in the North-East, but when we subjected the rice to a test, we discovered that the rice was actually poisonous.

“This means that most imported rice have been in silos for 10 to 15 years and have no nutritional value. So what we have told them is that anybody who wants to support the IDPs or any other person in Nigeria should please use our local rice. The argument is that local rice is more expensive, but we say even if it means buying half bags, do it.

“It is better for us to eat a smaller quantity of nutritious rice than for us to take poisonous shiploads of rice. Also, we discovered that chemicals used for smuggled poultry products are the ones used for embalming corpses. So what we want Nigerians to know is that anybody who eats smuggled poultry products is actually embalming himself while still alive,” he said.

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