The Seme Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service in recent times has engaged in a renewed effort of aggressive anti-smuggling operation there by tightening the land border against smuggling activities. The command is deploying all necessary tools to ensure that the core mandate of the Service (Revenue generation, facilitation of legitimate trade and suppression of smuggling)amongst others isvigorously achieved; this is because actualizing the functions of revenue generation and legitimate trade facilitation depends solely on how smuggling activities are aggressively suppressed to thebarest minimum.
It is against this backdrop that the anti-smuggling unit of the command has intensified its operations in order to curb the menace of trans-border crimes (smuggling) and other vices.
The ongoing aggressive patrol by the anti-smuggling operationunit of illegal routes and flanks of the border isyielding tremendous results,and has translated into the seizure of numerousitems.Commenting on the items seized, The Customs Area Comptroller, Compt. Mohammed, A.A disclosed that combating smuggling is a major responsibility that the Nigeria Customs Service is saddled with, and as such, compliance with Government fiscal policies is not an option to an institution that is bestowed with such enormous responsibilities. He further stated that officers are adequately motivated and re-oriented to execute their functions creditably and discretionally without compromise.
Comptroller Mohammed Aliyu further reiterated that in order to key into the presidential mandate (Reform, Restructure and Revenue generation), smuggling activities have to be confronted headlong in order to prevent revenue leakages. This reality has necessitated the proactive approach of the enforcement unit to ensure smuggling activities is maximally suppressed in order to enhance and boost revenue generation.
The Command’shelmsman while showcasing the seizures made, charged all officers and men to maintain the tempo in combating smuggling activities across the frontier. He added that though the drastic reduction of economic activities through the corridor has impacted negatively on the revenue profile of the command, the Command remains undaunted in ensuring that smuggling is suppressed to its barest minimum. The seized items include the followings: 3200 x 50KG bags of rice, 1000 cartons of frozen poultry products which has since been destroyed in accordance with the extant laws,720×25 jerry cans of vegetable oil and 57 bales of second hand clothing, with a total duty paid value of fifty four million, four hundred and sixty five thousand naira only (N 54, 465, 000.00)
The Comptroller used the opportunity to call on all concerned Nigerians, stakeholders and other relevant agencies at the borders to help the service in giving credible intelligence for all kinds of trans-border crimes to be nib in the bud. He re-iterated that the Nigeria Customs Service Seme command will continue to protect the Nigerian economy by ensuring that our local industries are protected to give employment opportunities to the teaming population of our unemployed youths. He further stated that this can only be achieved by ensuring that the fiscal policies of the federal government are enforced to the later. He used the Customs Community Consultative Forum (CCCF) platform to sensitize and advise the youth inthe host communities to stay away from border vices as offenders caught in the act will be made to face the full wrath of the law.The warning became necessary in view of the fact that others who have fallen victims of smuggling offencesare currently undergoing prosecution at various law courts.