Abiola Seun |.
The Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone A of the Nigeria Customs Services (NCS) yesterday said it intercepted smuggled goods worth N23bn from the Lagos seaports -Tin-Can Island and Apapa port and the various land borders in the south-West in one year.
In a press statement made available to newsmen, the Public Relations Officer, DSC, Theophilus Duniya, said N21billion smuggled contraband were seized from the land borders while N2billion was recovered on under-declared cargoes from the Lagos seaports between January to December 2020.
According to him, the lost revenue were recovered through the issuance of demand notices sequel to interceptions and documentary checks.
From the land borders, Duniya said 560 units of used vehicles were seized from smugglers as well as 31,129 bags of foreign parboiled rice were seized in the year under review.
He said, “The Federal Operations Unit Zone ‘A’ of the Nigeria Customs Service, is a Unit that compliments the Area Commands through interventions. As part of its mandate, we patrol, intercept suspected smuggled items and access warehouses suspected to be used by smugglers and duty evaders.
“In the course of the Unit’s operations between January-December 2020, we had recovered the sum of N2billion as revenue by identifying shortfalls on duty payments. In remaining uncompromising in the fight against smuggling, duty evasion and other offences that contravene different sections of the extant laws.”
The seized items are, “31,129 bags of smuggled foreign parboiled rice, 11,290 cartons of foreign poultry products, 3,562kg of Indian Hemp, 9,801 kegs of 25 liters each of vegetable oil, 560 units of used vehicles, 24,612 pieces of used tyres worth a total duty paid value of N21billion.
He however stated that the acting Customs Area Controller of the unit had assured compliant traders and importers of conducive atmosphere to carry out their duty.
“The Ag. Controller, DC Usman B. Yahaya categorically stated that, no consignment or goods on transit would be unjustifiably delayed for as long as there is compliance with the extant guidelines on the procedure for import and export clearance. We are totally committed to the course of facilitating legitimate trade.”
He continued, “This feat is as a result of credible information and intelligence gathering. Thus, we are soliciting for timely and credible information from patriotic citizens that would assist us carry out duties with diligence.
“While we remain grateful to our esteemed critical stakeholders and patriotic citizens for their unflinching support, we also appeal to traditional rulers, teachers, religious leaders and parents to urge the youths not to allow themselves to be used by economic saboteurs.”
“We shall remain determined at enforcing the federal government fiscal policies, extant regulations and guidelines on import/export; without fear or favor.”
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