The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Ogun 1 Area Command seized various uncustomed goods with a total Duty Paid Value of N704,482,601 in three months, which represents 61% increase to the N432,337,690 recorded same period in 2022.
In the area of revenue generation, it raked in N44,857,053.50 from duty collected on merchandise in baggage, auction sales of scrap vehicles and petroleum products, compared to the N5,512,901.50 made the previous year.
The Customs Area Controller (CAC), Comptroller Bamidele Makinde told journalists in Abeokuta on Thursday that the Command is working hard to promote export business in order to shore up the forex earning of the country.
He reiterated that the revenue activities of the Command comprises importation and exportation of legitimate goods, goods under the ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme (ETLS) and assessment of merchandise in baggage.
In its anti-smuggling activities, it recorded a total of 181 goods which include 12,610 bags of smuggled foreign parboiled rice of 50kg and 25kg each, which is an equivalence of 21 trailer loads.
Other are: 77,250 litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS); 29 units of used vehicles used for the conveyance of smuggled goods; 10 big pieces and 19 small pieces of artifact; 73 bales of secondhand clothing; 14 sacks of foreign used shoes; 900 pieces of foreign used tyres; 1,120 cartons of frozen Poultry products and 240 pieces of body cream.
Compt. Makinde said: “It is pertinent to state that from the above total bags of rice, we made a spectacular seizure of 740 bags of Chinese rice of 25kg each, stockpiled in a warehouse in Sagamu axis of Ogun State on Wednesday, 15 March 2023 at 2230hrs. Nigerians have to be careful not to consume what could hamper their health. In a similar vein, our operatives also made a seizure of 1,446 Cartons of Imported Cigarettes labelled and addressed in Chinese language contrary to the extant laws.
“In the course of our anti-smuggling operations, we arrested 7 suspected smugglers and they have been granted administrative bail, pending conclusion of the investigation that will lead to their prosecution at the Federal High Court.
“The above seizures were recorded during intelligence driven and strategic anti-smuggling operations at the border lines and other locations within Ogun State”.
The Command also handed over 107 sacks and 1,375 wraps of book, bread and coconut sizes of cannabis sativa to the Commander of Narcotics, Ogun State Command of NDLEA, CN Ibiba Odili.
The CAC noted that the handing over of the drugs to the NDLEA will further strengthen collaboration in safeguarding the youths from the harmful substance which could endanger their lives and the environments, adding that efforts shall be intensified in making the communities safer for all.
Commenting on stakeholders’ Engagement/Corporate Social Responsibility, he stated that the Command is committed to strengthening and sustaining the existing synergy with sister agencies, and cordial community relations with host communities.
“This is geared towards an improved economic development and national security. This morning, the Customs Officers Wife Association (COWA) in partnership with the Command and other stakeholders, laid a foundation of 4 units of classrooms at the Nigeria Customs Staff Schools premises, Idiroko. The aim is to create more space and further enhance the enabling environment for learning. The schools provide quality education at affordable rate to children of officers and members of Idiroko border community and its environs.
“Recall that I mention in my last press briefing on 15 March 2023, how the Command collaborated with Integration Art Palace and Tour in collaboration to organize a 3-day Art for Economic Development programme tagged “Nigeria Customs Service Enabling a Secure Border Trade”.
“The programme was said to be part of the Command’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) with the objective of promoting trade through art works exhibited by artisans and secondary school students within Idiroko border community and its environs. The Command also used the avenue to educate the participants on the activities of Customs in Ogun State, benefits of legitimate trade, and the dangers inherent in smuggling activities”.
He further disclosed that the management of the Command sent five officers to participate in Leadership course in Defence and Security Management for capacity building, in line with the 10 building blocks of the World Customs Organization (WCO) and the reforms of the Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (rtd).
The course was organized by the Centre for the study of leadership and complex military operations, Nigerian Defence Academy in collaboration with Peace Building Development Consult from 27th to 29th March 2023. The main objective of the course is develop the leadership skill of participants in defence and security management.
The CAC appreciated officers and men of the Command for their dedication to fighting smuggling, and implored them to always adhere strictly to the rules of engagements while discharging their statutory duties.
He also thanked the CGC and his management team, critical stakeholders such as the traditional rulers, community leaders, youth and other security agencies, as well as the media for their collaborating and continuous support of the Command.