The Seme Command of the Nigeria Customs Service, has seized goods valued at N2,839,507,352.66 billion in two consecutive months.
Speaking at a media briefing recently in the Command, the Customs Area Controller while showing the seized items to Journalists, disclosed that the uncompromising stance of the Enforcement unit led to the interception of over 850 items with a duty paid value of N378,344,118.00.
He listed other seizures to include, 16,729 bags of foreign parboiled rice of 50kg each, equivalent to over 27 trailers valued at N302,477,049.00, 115 cartons of imported frozen poultry products value placed at N728,654.00, 57×50 litres jerry cans of vegetable oil estimated as N400,440.00, 111 pieces of secondhand tyres worth 859,345.00, 21 vehiculars of different models amounting to N134,410,536.00, 71×50 litres jerry cans of Petroleum Motor Spirits products valued at N300,572.00, 378x50kg bags of sugar estimated at N7,394,521.00, 40 pieces of used textiles materials worth N774,270.00, 57 packs of Tramadol recorded with the total sum of N11,090,832.00, 387 sacks of coconut valued N2,313,360.00 and other general goods in which value was estimated as N52,005,135.00, respectively.
According to the Seme Anti-Smuggling head, Comptroller Mohammed Uba Garba, 7 suspected person in connection to the goods impounded have been arrested, thereby giving useful information to the service to track down others still hiding for fear of being prosecuted.
He disclosed that, government policy on rice and the rationale behind it, is geared toward self sufficiency in regards to food production that would meet the demand of the citizenry, adding that incentives have been provided for rice farmers, individuals as well as State governments have likewise committed enormously in terms of finance in order to ensure that the desired goal is actualized, he affirmed.
“To reinvigorate the offensive against Smugglers to improve revenue, Seme Command officers were re-oriented to step up their actions against all economic perpetrators without any form of compromise, and maintain that their early resolve and strategy is yielding positive results”.
Ubah, further gave an insight of his Command’s revenue profile recorded in the period under review, which he pointed out was N1,948,408,519.66, despite lull in business transactions at the border post, going by the the Federal Government ban on importation of vehicles.
The Anti-Smuggling scar, said that since his assumption of duty in August this year 2018, with a clear mandate of Col. Ali in line with his policy thrust, places strong emphasis on integrity and transparency in public service.
He disclosed that for the avoidance of doubt, “We are not out to frustrate the members of the public neither the business community, because our aim is to facilitate legitimate trade, those with geniune declaration have nothing to fear. We remain resolute, determined to detect, arrest, and prosecute those who refuse to comply with the extant laws of import and export goods through the land borders.
He therefore use the opportunity to urge all community leaders, youth coordinators to cooperate and support the service to sensitize the youths on the danger inherent in Smuggling and other act of criminalities between Nigeria and the neighbouring States.
Comptroller Garba however, appreciated the fatherly support given the Command officers by the Comptroller General of the Service and his management team. And also commends the assistance given by other security agencies, i.e, the Nigerian Army, Navy, Air Force, Police, Immigration, DSS, NDLEA, NAFDAC, NAQS, FRSC, NSCDC, Port Health Services.
Also speaking at the event, the Immigration Area Controller, Comptroller Dominic Asogwa in appreciation to the publicity given so far by the Nigerian media, said he is highly elated by the standard exhibited by the press in administering good reportage about the successful operational achievements of the Nigeria Customs Service and illegal trade carried out by Smugglers across the country.
Asogwa said that he enjoyed every bit of working relationship with the Nigeria Customs Service in their bid to crumble the illegal perpetrators antics of short changing government.