Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone A, Ikeja, has generated ₦5.96 billion, the highest so far in the unit.
While it grossed ₦4 billion through the interceptions of various contraband between January and December 2017, it also recovered ₦1.96 billion from duty payments and demand notices on general goods.
In a statement, the Public Relations Officer of the unit, Mr. Jerry Attah, said that importers tried to beat the system from seaports, airport and border stations through wrong classification, transfer of value and shortchange in duty payment that are meant for the Federal Government of Nigeria, making a cumulative of ₦5.96 billion in 2017.
“Looking at 2017 under review, 179 suspects were arrested in connection with these 1,046 different seizures comprising foreign parboiled rice, frozen poultry products, vegetable oil, smuggled vehicles, Indian hemp, arms, fake pharmaceutical/medicaments and various general merchandise,” he said, adding that the controller of the unit, Comptroller Mohammed Uba Garba, said that despite the challenges in 2017, the unit recorded the highest seizures and revenues so far in the history of the Federal Operations, Ikeja. He attributed this feat to the leadership of the Comptroller General of Customs, Colonel Hameed Ibrahim Ali (rtd), and the entire management team of NCS for their efforts in recognising hard work and putting square begs in square holes.
“Without the management motivation and necessary logistic support, we wouldn’t have achieved this feat within this period,” he said.
Uba while commending the commitment and diligence of the officers and men of FOU ‘A’ for thwarting the antics of some dare-devil smugglers who used different methods to deceive the service, further charged his officers to be professional and diligent in performing their statutory responsibilities in the year 2018; most especially in the area of anti-smuggling operations by making sure all revenue linkages are blocked.
“Uba enjoined all hands to be on deck in the fight against these economic saboteurs who mean no good for the economy. He added that smuggling is a global phenomenon, which cannot be curbed entirely but can be brought to its barest minimum. He appreciated all security and sister agencies (Nigeria army, Nigerian police, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), National Agency for Food Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON),) that rendered logistics support and cooperation towards winning the war against smuggling within the southwest zone.
He further warned smugglers and their accomplices to desist from such illegality and invest their money in legitimate business, as the unit has devised other operational modalities that give them a run for their money.