Stop Cashew Smugglers, Traders urge Customs, others – Association

The National Cashew Association of Nigeria (NCAN) has raised the alarm over the invasion of the cashew nuts business by some unscrupulous businessmen and smugglers.

The association, therefore, urged the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to stop smugglers of the product, noting that their activities were making the business difficult for traders and depriving the country of huge revenue.

Investigations revealed that over 50 per cent of cashew nuts produced in the country were being smuggled through Kwara, Oyo and Ogun states to Benin, Ghana and Mali, from where the nuts are exported to India and Vietnam.

A member of the group, Mr. Ajayi Emmanuel, said Benin Republic, Ghana, Gabon and Cote d’Ivoire had become major markets where the crop fetches a premium in the international market for smugglers.

He alleged that the merchants receiving the smuggled commodity were branding Nigerian cashew as their own, adding that the illegal trend had weakened the nation’s export.“Based on the activities of smugglers, the country lacks adequate tonnage of cashew going out through the land borders and because of the illegal trade, Nigeria has been losing huge sums of revenue. There is high concentration of smuggling of the product at the porous borders in Ogun, Oyo and Kwara states.

“The volume of the smuggled product is larger than those passing through the seaports legitimately,” Emmanuel lamented.

Noting that this had affected the price structure of the commodity, he urged Customs in collaboration with other security agencies to intervene and block all the loopholes.

The exporter insisted that the Federal Government should ban the smuggling of the product. He also asked the NCS and the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) to enforce the law in order to create jobs.

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