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Thwarting Smugglers Leave Nigerians Counting Costs of Stony Rice

  • Nigeria started closing borders in August to stem smuggling
  • President Buhari wants to diversify economy away from oil
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WATCH: Shutting borders to thwart rice smugglers and boost local production has left Nigerians counting the costs of wet, stony rice.Source: Bloomberg

In Adeola Adejare’s market store in Lagos, two teenage boys separate stones from Nigerian rice, preparing it for sale after the government closed land borders and stemmed the flow of cheap, smuggled grains.

“Most people cannot afford to buy” even the least costly local variety, said Adejare, a trader in Daleko, the largest rice market in the country’s financial hub. Sales have plummeted by 90%, with the 47-year-old now considering herself lucky to sell two 50-kilogram bags a day.