By DAPO OLAWUNI
The Seme Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service has intercepted 1, 244 smuggled items with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N886, 428, 163.41 only between January 2021 till date.
The command has also generated N718, 828, 529.85 only as revenue during the period under review, bringing the Grand total for both seizure and revenue during the period under review to N1, 605, 256, 693. 26 only.
While conducting newsmen round the seizures at the command on Tuesday, the Customs Area Controller, Compt Muhammed Bello Jibo said the Command in July, 2021 intercepted 3,186 parcels of cannabis sativa concealed with sharp sand along Badagry-Seme road.
He recalled that the Command had earlier handed over 232 parcels of cannabis sativa to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Special Command Seme.
A total of 3, 447 parcels of cannabis sativa have now been intercepted for the period under review. The street values of these items were estimated to be N98, 983, 836.40 only.
Compt Jibo also stated that the Command’s drive against the smuggling of premium motor spirit (PMS) has led to seizures of ten 10,309 jerry cans of PMS, 25 litres each, this is equivalent to 8-trailer tanker loads of 33,000 litres each.
Compt Jibo while giving a breakdown of the other seizures stated that these include; 10,706 bags of 50Kg rice,
NPK Fertilizer= 44bags
Frozen Poultry Product= 608 cartons
Cigarette= 784 rolls
Smuggled vehicles=109 Units
Vegetable oil= Eleven (11) jerry cans of 25 lires each
Tomatoes paste= 843 cartons
Used Shoes= 605 pairs and twelve (12) sacks
Used clothes= seventeen (17) sacks and seven (7) bales
Used tyres= 19 pics
Herbicides= 153 sachets
Different drugs =1419 packs and other general merchandise.
Out of the total smuggled vehicles intercepted, thirty seven (37) are presently in court awaiting condemnation.
Speaking, he said “The above successes recorded could be attributed to the continuous robust stakeholders engagements, vigorous intelligence gathering through collaboration with the host communities, especially the youth, security agencies and the determination, and commitment demonstrated by the officers and men of the Command and ensuring compliance to extant government fiscal policies as relates to import and export”
The Customs boss lamented that the Benin Republic economic policies affected the revenue drive of the Command as all goods transiting through Benin were mandated to pay some duties and levies by the government of Benin Republic which is contrary to ECOWAS protocols and international transit agreements.
Nevertheless, Compt Jibo said the Command collected the sum of N718, 828, 529.85 only as revenue during the period under review.
In addition to that, the Command processed and exited exported trade volume of 635, 149.23 Metric Tonnes, with the Free On board (FOB) value of N15, 564, 130, 518.09 only, and the NESS value of N78, 203, 779. 81 during the period under review.
Under ETLS, the Command treated and exited 1,314 trucks of goods under the scheme.
Speaking further, Compt Jibo said “It is pertinent to appreciate the maximum cooperation received from stakeholders, the Border Communities, security agencies and the media for their support, patriotism and cooperation towards achieving our core mandate of revenue collection, suppression of smuggling and facilitation of legitimate trade across the frontiers”