A law to prohibit the importation of rice into the country is underway in the House of Representatives.

A Bill exclusively obtained by VANGUARD 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”.

The Bill sponsored by Rep. Saidu Musa Abdullahi, warns, 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 states 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”.

The Bill warns 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.