The Federal Operations Unit, FOU, Zone ‘A’ of Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, has generated over N8.2billion from seizures of prohibited items to the coffers of the Federal Government from January to June, 2018 economic year.
The Unit also made underpayment recovery of N N405.2million, thereby making cumulative revenue of N8.6billion for the period under review.
Spokesman of the Unit, Mr. Jerry Attah, in a statement revealed that “the unit through its interventions recovered N405,217,909.00 from duty payments and demand notices on vehicles and general goods that attempted to cut corners from seaports, airport and border stations through wrong classification, transfer of value, and shortchange in duty payment that are meant for the coffers of Federal Government of Nigeria, making a cumulative of N8,619,703,982.00”.
In addition, the period under review, the Command arrested 107 suspects in connection to 596 different seizures comprising 34,652 foreign parboiled rice (equivalent to 58 trailers); 167 units of exotic vehicles (Toyota Prado/Lexus; bullet proof), Toyota C-HR , Toyota Camry LE, Toyota Prado(s), Toyota Hilux, Ford F150, Pajero Jeeps, Mercedes Benz ranging from 2015-2018 models respectively); 8,987 cartons frozen poultry products, 4,586 jerrycans of vegetable oil, 3,463 cartons of different pharmaceutical/medicaments, 370 parcels/98 sacks of Indian hemp weighing 1,350kg, and various general merchandise.
Besides, amongst the star seizures include the interception of 460 sacks of pangolin scales weighing 12, 264 kg and 218 elephant tusks, making it the highest seizure of such endangered species in the history of Federal Operations Unit Zone A.
This seizure among others brought a lot of accolades to us from the Comptroller-General of Customs Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd) and his management team. To add to it was the visit by the Minister of State for Environment; Mallam Ibrahim Usman accompanied by the United Nations charter on CITES delegates led by Mr Juan Carlos who is the Chief Legal Affairs, CITES Headquarters in Geneva, to inspect the seized items and make necessary recommendation to its headquarters.
State for Environment, Mallam Ibrahim Usman accompanied by the United Nations Charter on CITES delegates, led by Mr Juan Carlos, who is the Chief Legal Affairs, CITES Headquarters in Geneva, to inspect the seized items, in order to make necessary recommendations to the headquarters.
Mallam Usman commended Comptroller Uba of FOU Zone ‘A’, and his officers for all the outstanding seizures thus far.
Further the UN delegates also promised their support to provide training towards combating illicit trade on endangered species, so that such harmless animals don’t go into extinction. The seized pangolin scales and elephant tusks are valued at N2.7billion and two Chinese were arrested in connection with the items.
Accordingly, in order to ensure full implementation of government’s policy banning importation of rice through the land borders, FOU Zone ‘A’ is re-strategising its operational network and beaming its searchlight at the creeks and waterways at various locations within the Southwest zone.
“We would continue to make sure smugglers within our areas of jurisdiction count their losses until they desist from sabotaging our economy and allow local industries to thrive, in order to create jobs for the people”. Comptroller Uba said
“This feat would not have been possible without logistics support of CGC Hameed Ali, his entire management and the media for its partnership in sensitising the public on the dangers of smuggling to the nation’s economy. He also applauded other sister agencies that are always available to give operational support, most especially the Nigerian Army, Police and DSS amongst others. We look forward to sustaining this synergy that will yield better performance in the remaining half of the year.
“I equally commend his officers/men for their resilience and doggedness that brought about this feat and charged them to be diligent in performing their statutory responsibilities; most especially in the area of anti-smuggling operations by making sure all revenue leakages are blocked. We must keep thwarting the antics of smugglers who used different methods for illicit business”.