The Area II Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Onne, Rivers State, has seized 19 containers loaded with substandard aluminum profiles this month.
The area controller, Galadima Saidu, who stated this while highlighting the achievements of the command, disclosed that the prohibited goods were detected through the system, adding that the agent and importer of the goods were still at large, as they declared fake address.
The command, however, assured that the suspects would be tracked soon to face the law.
Saidu said the clampdown on the unwholesome aluminum products would encourage indigenous companies to invest more and create jobs in the country.
“Today, modern customs goes beyond the collection of revenue and suppression of smuggling activities. We must create enabling environment for business to thrive.
“Some people took loans to set up the aluminium industries; so if we allow these things to come in, how do they repay and create jobs for our teeming youths? So, customs is strongly against such activities,” he added.
The customs boss emphasised that in achieving the goal of curbing illegal importation, all hands must be on deck, including the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), which registers the importers. It urged CAC to verify the importers’ authenticity before registering them.
“The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and others need to carry out their tasks to enable the service operate smoothly,” he said.
Describing the allegations by Galvanised Iron and Steel Manufacturers Association (GISMA) that Onne Port was an outlet for smuggling as naive, he asserted that a proper check was not carried out.
“The 19 containers loaded with substandard aluminium materials were arrested between last week and this week, while GISMA made the allegation last week Wednesday, May 22, 2019, showing that a thorough check for facts were not carried out. If you don’t have facts, don’t open your mouth,” he warned.
According to him, no patriotic Nigerian, even within the customs, would encourage smuggling of substandard aluminiun products because it affects all.
He added: “Everyday, we condemn smuggling activities, because we do not even know who is going to be the end user.
“This is what we battle with daily. Eighty per cent of the importers are not honest; they declare falsely. We have been sensitising them that it is safer for them to declare the right thing. We will not relent; we will continue to do that.”