By DAPO OLAWUNI
The Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone ‘A’of the Nigeria Customs Service has announced the interception of 5,481 x 50kg bags of foreign parboiled rice, equivalent to over 9 trailer loads in January 2023 alongside other seizures.
Acting Controller of the FOU Zone ‘A’, Hussein Kehinde Ejibunu during a press conference in Lagos on Wednesday said the unit arrested eleven smugglers, out of which four of them have been jailed by the Federal High Court.
Other seizures made by the unit according to him, includes; 47,750 litres of premium motor spirit
68 pieces of military camouflage
314 pieces of used tyres
11 units of used motorcycles
13 units of used vehicles
450 x 106 kg drums of carbide (on detention)
Ejibunu told Journalists that these goods were intercepted along the border corridors of the South-West for contravening different Customs laws.
According to him, the total duty paid (DPV) value of the seized goods is N517,918,790, while the sum of N86,117,398.50 was recovered as revenue into the federation account through the issuance of demand notices (DN) on Customs duties that were discovered to be underpaid.
While stating the havoc that could have been caused if these offending items had been allowed into the Nigerian society, the Customs FOU boss said
“Considering the spate of insecurity across the country, and the upcoming general elections; it can be postulated that the importation of Indian Hemp, and military camouflage could be used to fuel crimes and electoral violence by unpatriotic elements. while the former is under prohibition, the latter are under the control and supervision of the Office of the National Security Adviser, which requires End-User Certificates.
“Members of the public are hereby, enjoined to key into the prevailing security concerns by providing useful, and timely information that would expose and lead to the arrest of the enemies of the state”
He added that the customs service has re-strategized it’s operations and officers are urged to be more professional, and are keyed into the Service’s Standard Operations Procedure (SOP); aimed at facilitating legitimate trade.
“In doing this, we are assuring all compliant traders and importers that they have nothing to fear. While the recalcitrant ones are advised to desist because we are better mobilized with high morale to arrest, prosecute, and make them loose their wares in forfeiture to the federal government.
“Seizures recorded in January 2023 are a reflection of officers’ commitment to duty, and no compromise posture in the discharge of our statutory responsibilities; aimed at protecting the national economy and preventing the importation of prohibited, and harmful goods” he said