THE Federal Operations Unit, Zone A, of Nigeria Customs Service, says it intercepted 7,259 bags of 50kg of foreign parboiled rice which is equivalent to 12 trucks in April.
The service said 12 suspects had so far been arrested by the unit in connection with the seizure of different contrabands and others.
Addressing journalists at the unit on Thursday, the Customs Area Controller in charge of the unit, Hussein Ejebunu, said the unit discovered that the bags of rice were not fit for human consumption.
He said, “A total of 12 suspects were arrested in connection with some of the seizures and for committing various customs offences.
“Pursuant to the Federal Government’s policy that encourages local production of rice against the importation of foreign parboiled rice, this Unit had seized 7,259 of 50 kg bags of rice – an equivalent of over twelve trucks load.
“Sequel to a laboratory test analysis on some of the previously seized foreign parboiled rice by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, one of the test parameters indicated some contents of lead, a soft heavy toxic malleable metallic element in the tested rice, making it unfit for human consumption.”
Ejebunu warned Nigerians to be mindful of some imported foreign bags of rice, noting that they were not unhealthy for human consumption.
“Consequent upon this laboratory analysis on the foreign parboiled rice, as a responsible government agency, we are letting Nigerians know that apart from the negative economic impact of importing foreign rice into the country, some of these imported rice are unhealthy for human consumption.”