2023: MMIA Customs Collects N30.5b, Intercepts Drones, Military Wares From Smugglers

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Comptroller Charles Orbih, Customs Area Controller of Murtala Mohammed International Airport Command, showing seizes bullet proof vests, artifacts , elephant tusks and other seizures to journalists in Lagos on Friday

The Murtala Mohammed International Airport Command of Nigeria Customs Service has disclosed a total collection of N30,503,507,399.09 as revenue collected from January 1 to December 31, 2023 and made 125 seizures comprising of sophisticated, drones, military wares artefacts and other items.


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Customs Area Controller of the Command, Comptroller Charles Orbih, who disclosed this to journalists in Lagos, said the command will continually intercept goods brought to the airport in contravention of the

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Comptroller Orbih said the 2023 collection surpassed the N29,148,944,769.82 target set for the command by N1,354,562,629.27 which is equivalent to a five percent increase.


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He added that a comparative analysis of the revenue collected for the corresponding year 2022 which was N20,898,557,880.11 shows an increase of 46% in total revenue collection with a difference of N9.6b

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Some of the elephant tusks seized from smugglers at the airport

Speaking on the revenue strides of the command under his watch, Orbih said the command has consistently surpassed it’s monthly target since he assumed office in September 2023.



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He said “Since my assumption of office in the Command, it is worthy to note that the Command has consecutively surpassed its monthly target from the month of September to December 2023 as represented in the total revenue collected within the period under review. At this juncture, ladies and gentlemen, permit me to state that it is the first time in the annals of this Command that in the month of December 2023, the Command collected an unprecedented sum of N4,768,922,080.68.This could be attributed to the doggedness of the officers of the Command towards achieving set goals and objectives.

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Comptroller Orbih during the media briefing

“According to Section 245 of the Nigeria Customs Service Act 2023 which empowers a Customs Officer to seize and detain prohibited goods, the Command also made 125 seizures with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N801,561,962 for the year 2023”


Orbih listed some of the seized to include

89 Seized Drones;330 Military and other Security Wares;700 rolls of Cigarettes each containing 10 packs that were concealed;126 Walkie Talkies and their Accessories;87 pieces of Artifacts and Antiquities and 22 pieces of Elephant Tusks


Other seizures listed include10,000USD counterfeit notes handed over to Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC);8,800USD concealed in an album;300 pieces of Ladies Footwears; 2 bags of Precious stones and other items.

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He said three suspects were arrested in connection with the seizures. While investigation is ongoing before they will be charged to court as soon as it is completed.


He attributed the successes achieved to teamwork and cooperation while expressing appreciation to the Comptroller General of Customs, Bashir Adewale for creating an enabling environment for the attainment of the various feats achieved in the command

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According to him “The commitment and diligence of the officers and men of the Command and other Units including the Valuation Unit, Customs Intelligence Unit (CIU) and the Customs Police enabled seamless operation of carrying out these enormous tasks.


“I will like to appreciate the Controller General of Customs (CGC), BA Adeniyi Psc(+) MFR and his management team for creating an enabling environment for the Command to actualize its core mandate of generating maximum revenue, suppression of smuggling, facilitating legitimate trade and national security.


“The Command will not rest on its oars in this new year 2024 by improving on its operations and facilitating legitimate trade while not compromising the security of the country. It is also important to appreciate the synergy that exist between us and other Government Agencies working in the airport. The cooperation has indeed boosted and helped in achieving our core mandate thereby strengthening our mode of operations.

Going forward, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, the Command will continue to discharge its duties and responsibilities as enshrined in the Nigeria Customs Service Act 2023” he said.

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Giving an insight into the drones seized from smugglers, Orbih said some of them have 5000 grams capacity with ability to carry weapons and first aid box. While explaining that drones are not absolutely prohibited, he disclosed that the ones with 250 grams are allowed into the country but will require end user certificate issued by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA)

Ismail Aniemu

Ismail Aniemu, Publisher of JournalNG and ghost writer, is a maritime journalist of over two decades' of practice with multidisciplinary background. He holds a masters degree in Transport Management from Ladoke Akintola University of Technology(LAUTECH) with bias for logistics. He is also an alumnus of the Times Journalism Institute where he obtained a post graduate diploma in Journalism. Email:

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