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The Nigerian government has said there is no evidence to prove that “plastic rice” was being sold in the country, days after tonnes of questionable rice were seized by the local customs authority.

In a tweet on Thursday, Minister of Health Isaac Adewole said following the test conducted by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, Nigeria’s food safety agency, it was safe to say there was no evidence backing the “plastic rice” claim.

The Nigeria Customs Service in Nigeria’s economic hub Lagos had said Wednesday that 2.5 tonnes of the contraband, intended to be sold during the festive season, had been confiscated.

The “expired rice”, as local experts described the contraband, was smuggled through land borders near Lagos.

According to Comptroller Haruna Mamudu in charge of the customs service in Ikeja, capital of Lagos State, such harmful rice could damage the human body system.

The West African country had issued an alert on the smuggling of the expired rice into the country through some border stations and urged the citizens to be wary of its harmful effects.

Mamudu said a probe has been launched to substantiate how the harmful rice were smuggled through the land borders.

Nigeria had banned importation of rice through border stations since April.

However, some of the expired rice had been impounded by the Nigeria Customs Service since the ban was ordered.

Mamudu said smuggling of rice had become so rampant among the youths who risked their lives on motorcycles, carrying five to six bags each.

The customs official said the only acceptable way acknowledged by Nigerian authorities is importing the food commodity through the seaports. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

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