The Ogun Area 1 Command of Nigeria Customs Service said it generated a total of N12,321,075 revenue from January to March 2021, through auction sales.
The Command’s Area Controller, Comptroller Peter Kolo, in a statement made available to Financial Street, also declared that a total of N8,627,750 revenue was generated in March.
According to him, in the same month a total of 167 seizures of various contraband goods was made, with a Duty Paid Value amounting to N116,586,607.
He listed the seized contraband items to include imported foreign parboiled rice, frozen poultry products, petroleum products (PMS) made for exports, used clothing, cannabis sativa, vehicles and motorcycles used as means of conveyance of prohibited goods, tomato paste, vegetable oils and medicaments.
Kolo noted that over 7,000 bags of 50kg parboiled foreign rice equivalent to two trailer-loads was seized also in March.
According to the Customs chief, “Never in the history of this Command have we recorded this quantum of rice seizure. I commend the efforts of gallantry officers serving in the Command for these feats.”
He, however, attributed the feats recorded by his team to good motivation from the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd).
“Successes recorded in our operations command could be attributed to the good motivation from the Nigeria Customs Service management which has boosted the morale of officers and kept them in high spirit at all times. (As well as the) aggressive stakeholders’ engagement by the CAC including visit and parley with over 27 traditional rulers, youth leaders as well as all security and government agencies in Ogun State,” Kolo said.
He further commended the deployment of intelligence and alertness by his men which helped to unveil ingenuously concealed bags of foreign rice of 50kg each among crates of Coca Cola products in two trucks. The trucks, suspected to be coming from Ilaro border, were intercepted along Denro-Olorunda-Abeokuta Road.
The Area Controller disclosed that during the period under review, four suspected smugglers were arraigned before the Federal High Court in Abeokuta on a five-count charge, and warned would-be smugglers to abstain or be caught and face the wrath of the law.
He refuted claim in a daily newspaper alleging compromise on the part of Customs operatives by allowing about 60,000 bags of smuggled rice into the country within a week.
Describing it as a “bogus claim and an exaggeration out of proportion,” he said during the first quarter 2021 the Command seized 19,000 bags (38 trailer-load) of 50kg each of foreign rice with DPV of N307,851,696.
The Customs boss, however, maintained that his men would always abide by the directive of the Federal Government, by ensuring that prohibited items are not smuggled into the country through the land borders.
“We shall continue to ensure that anyone caught indulging in smuggling activities and obstruction of our officers while carrying out their lawful duties is brought to justice,” he warned.
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