The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Federal Operations Unit, Zone ‘A’ Ikeja, has announced that it intercepted various contraband with a duty paid value (DPV) of N4.004 billion between January to December 2017.
Similarly, the unit through its interventions recovered N1.95 billion from duty payments and demand notices on general goods that tried to beat the system from seaports, airport and border stations through wrong classification, transfer of value, and short-change in duty payment that are meant for the federal government, making a cumulative N5.96 billion in the year 2017
During the year under review, the FOU said 179 suspects were arrested in connection to these 1,046 different seizures comprising foreign parboiled rice, frozen poultry products, vegetable oil, smuggled vehicles, Indian hemp, arms, fake pharmaceutical/medicaments and various general merchandise.
The Controller, FOU, Mohammed Uba Garba said despite the challenges in 2017 recorded the highest seizures and revenue so far in the history of the FOU.
He attributed this feat to leadership of the Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (rtd.) and the entire management team of the NCS for their efforts in recognising hard work and putting square begs in square holes. Without the management motivation and necessary logistic support, we won’t have achieved this feat within this period.
Garba, while commending the commitment and diligence of the officers and men of the FOU for thwarting the antics of some dare devil smugglers, who used different methods to deceive the service, further charged his officers to be professional and diligent in performing their statutory responsibilities in the year 2018, most especially in the area of anti-smuggling operations by making sure all revenue linkages are blocked.
Garba said all hands should be on deck in the fight against these economic saboteurs who mean no good for the economy.
He added that smuggling is a global phenomenon, which cannot be curbed entirely but can be brought to its barest minimum. He appreciated all security and sister agencies (Nigerian Army, Nigeria Police, NDLEA, NAFDAC, SON,) that rendered logistics support and cooperation towards winning the war against smuggling within the southwest zone.
He further warned all would be smugglers and their accomplices to desist from such illegality and invest their money in legitimate business, as the Unit has devised other operational modalities that give them a run for their money and count their losses, if not jailed.
For the avoidance of doubt, the federal government policy banning the importation of vehicles and rice through the land borders is still in force and we are ever ready and equipped to enforce these polices to the latter.
Garba while thanking members of the forth estate of the realm for their support/reportage in 2017, called for their continuous partnership with Nigeria Customs Service in the advocacy campaign against the evil of smuggling to the nation’s economy and provides necessary intelligence that could also assist the NCS do their job better in 2018 and beyond.