By DAPO OLAWUNI
The Comptroller General Strike Force , an interventionist arm of the Nigeria Customs Service in Zone ‘A’ has disclosed that it intercepted smuggled items including a pump action riffle, locally fabricated pistol, cartridges among other items worth N390,198,000.
The unit also generated N748,679,337 as revenue within the period under review.
Speaking at a press conference in Lagos on Wednesday, Cordinator of the Strike Force, Mohammed Sani Yusuf gave a breakdown of the seized items to include; 1500 x 50kg bags of Foreign Parboiled Rice, 839 bales of Used Clothes, 3,525 litres of Premium Motor Spirit and 900 bags of Cement; used to conceal rice.
Other items seized are; 1,670 Mumrite Tomato Paste
500 Mumrite Sardine
Smuggled Vehicles One (1) pump action, one (1) locally fabricated pistol and 14 live cartridges.
The customs boss lamented the social and psychological crisis which these illicit items could have caused if they had find their way into Nigerian homes.
Speaking, he said “In continuation to suppress smuggling and to prevent revenue loss within the Southwest Region, officers and men of the Strike Force Team ‘A’ have remained resolute in enforcing Customs extant laws. In the course of enforcing these laws, recalcitrant importers and traders were either made to pay the maximum duty payable, through the issuance of demand notices or made to forfeit their goods to the Federal Government by way of seizing them.
“You may recall that foreign tomato paste, used clothing, importation of vehicles through the land borders, used tyres, arms and ammunition without end-user certificates among others, are all import prohibition which threatens our collective economy. The following are the seizures recorded within the period under review:
“These seizures recorded within the period have a cumulative duty paid value (DPV) of Three Hundred and Ninety Million, One Hundred and Ninety Eight Thousand Naira (N390,198,000).
“Illicit goods imported into the country with their attending effects mostly end up either in our homes or in the neighborhood; causing a wide range of issues ranging from social to a psychological crises.
“Our efforts at ensuring that the local industries are protected from unhealthy foreign competition and other forms of social security require a strong partnership between our operatives and members of the public in areas of information sharing and moral support.
In the aspect of revenue generation, the Customs boss noted that N748,679,337 was made thorough documentary checks and issuance of demand notices on consignments that were found to have been short-paid.
“It is sad to note that some Nigerians would pay all duties and levies payable to the Customs authorities of other countries they import from, while on the other hand, they make conscious efforts to evade such payments into the federal coffers”.
“As we are in the last quarter of the year; approaching the yuletide period, where recalcitrant traders and importers quest to make more profits through smuggling is at its peak. I would use this opportunity to appeal to importers and agents to be patriotic by making sincere declarations, and pay their duties accurately.
“Let me use this medium to warn none compliant traders to desist from such; because we have strategically mobilized, and deployed our personnel to do the needful” he said