— As Kwara Command seizes fifty-four contraband, rakes in N1.7 billion in 3 months
Abiola Seun & Segun Oladipupo
The Federal Operations Unit of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has intercepted a vehicle with Covid-19 sticker used to smuggled frozen chicken into the country.
The unit also intercepted various items of contraband worth N12.7billion between January to April 2020.
Recall that the FOU A is an anti-smuggling arm of the service saddled with the responsibility of suppressing smuggling in the six states of the South-West.
In a press statement by the Public Relations Officer of the unit, Jerry Attah, the officers intercepted the vehicle under the guise of essential duty, smuggling cartons of smuggled frozen chicken into the country from Benin Republic.
Attah who quoted the Customs Area Controller of the unit, Usman Yahaya, said the vehicle was arrested along Ijebu-Ode expressway.
He also disclosed that they were intercepted based on intelligence and the eagle eye officers who were on routine patrol at the axis.
The CAC said, “The officers were professional enough to intercept the vehicle which was believed to be used in the movement of essential commodities but was surprised to see that it was used for illegal activities such as movement of contraband.
“We have arrested the vehicle and investigation has commenced to get to the root and unravel other atrocities that may have been committed using the essential duty tag.”
However, speaking on the activities of the command in the last four months, the CAC said contraband worth N12.7 billion were intercepted from smugglers between January to April 2020
According to him, the unit also paid a whopping N1.14 billion into the Treasury Single Account of the federal government from Debit Note (DN) on intercepted containers from Lagos seaport, voluntary payment of Customs duty on vehicles, auction sales from PMS among others
Giving a break down in the seizures, he said 25 units of fairly used vehicles worth N108million, 5,644 cartons of frozen chicken worth N54.1million were intercepted, 9,843 bags of 50kg smuggled parboiled rice worth N130.4 million and sacks of textile materials worth N94million were seized in the month under review.
Others are, N14million worth of used tyre, 3,764 kegs of smuggled vegetable oil worth N69.2 million, 8,365 litres of smuggled petrol also known as (PMS) and AGO also known as Diesel worth N35million.
The Customs boss said, “We won’t relent on our anti-smuggling fight especially at this time the government is preaching diversification into the agric sector due to the fall in price of oil in the international market which has affected government revenue base.”
“So, we will ensure that smuggling is reduced to the nearest minimum and not allow to fester as that could be injurious to our economy and well-being as a country,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Kwara Area Command of the s Service said it generated the sum of approximately N1.7 billion in the first quarter of year 2020.
The sum represents 21 percent of the Command’s annual target of Eight Billion Thirty-Eight Million Naira (N8, 038,000.000).
Chado Zakari, the Command Public Relations Officer, stated in a statement that the feat was made possible through enforcement of legitimate trade and trade facilitation by the Controller of the command, Comptroller Ahmed Hussaini Bello.
According to him, despite the rage of Covid-19 pandemic, the command generated the sum of One Billion Six Hundred and Ninety-Six Million Eighteen thousand Six Hundred and Ninety Four Naira Seventy Four Kobo (N 1, 696,018,694.74).
The breakdown shows that the command generated N1,006,901,647.42 in January; N332,272,223.68 in February and N356,844,823.64 in the month of March, 2020 totalling N1,696,018,694.74.
“This brings the total amount of revenue generated by the Command since its creation to Four Billion One Hundred Million Three Hundred and Thirty Six Thousand Seven Hundred and Thirty Seven Naira Twenty Two Kobo (N4, 100, 336, 737.22).
“Compt. Ahmed is also vigorously pursuing the Comptroller General of Customs Zero tolerance for duty evasion and smuggling.
“He has been reviving proficiency with regards to identifying and blocking all possible avenues of revenue leakages, enhancing capacity building in the areas of modern Customs Operation, reinforcing the commitment of officers and men in the discharge of their statutory responsibilities and ensuring disciplinary actions are taken on any erring officer found compromising.
“Compt. Ahmed declared that seizures were successfully accomplished as a result of the renewed determination of the Comptroller-General of Customs Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (rtd) to rid the country of all forms of illegal importation.
“He stated that there will be continued sensitization for stakeholders on the need to comply with extant laws governing Customs and Excise activities.
Within the period under review, the statement added that the command also recorded Fifty Four (54) seizures with Duty Paid Value (DPV) of Two Hundred and Eighty-Two Million One Hundred Ninety-Eight Thousand Two Hundred and Ninety-Two Naira (N 282,198,292.00).
21 units of vehicles of various types, 1, 159 Bags of foreign Par Boiled Rice (50kg each), 737 Jerry Cans of Petroleum Product, 20 Jerry Cans of Vegetable (25 litres each), 48 Sacks of 3,593Kg of Cannabis Sativa (Marijuana), 3 different seizures of Narcotics, 9 Used Pneumatics Tyres.
“To this end, the Customs Area Controller would like to send a note of warning to economic saboteurs to steer clear of Kwara area Command and engage in meaningful ventures or else they will meet their waterloo.
“These positive harvests in the areas of Anti-smuggling and Revenue generation are a clear testimony of what can be achieved under a selflessly focused leadership. The Controller, therefore, calls on Nigerians to support the Command by providing credible information that will help nip smuggling at the bud and generate needed revenue for national development.”
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