The Seme Border Command of the Nigeria Customs (NCS) has declared a whooping sum of N2,793,242,214.21 (Two billion, seven hundred and ninety three million, two hundred and forty two thousand, two hundred and fourteen naira, twenty one kobo) revenue and seizures.
UBA said the sum of N2,627,149,100.21 was recorded as revenue between March and June 18, 2019.
The Comptroller who was overwhelmed by the latest seizures showdown with smugglers informed the media that due to the intensified operational efforts, commitment and resilience by the Enforcement unit, it is on record that smuggling activities has drastically reduced because of the fear of losing their huge invested funds to government.
The seizures breakdown statistics showed include 8,304 bags of 50kg foreign parboiled rice which is equivalent to over 14 trailer trucks valued at N88,728,240.00; 31 units of 25litres Jerry Cans of vegetable oil worth N269,911.00; 35 units of 50kg bags of sugar with Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N444,785.00 as well as 138 units of 25litres of petrol with Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N212,100.
Also included among the seized items were 71 cartons of expired food seasoning worth N458,109.00; 336 cartons of alcoholic drinks valued N4,776,525.00, 1,582 parcels of cannabis sativa concealed in a noddles truck.
In addition to the seizures, 55 parcels of Cannabis Sativa concealed in a Sienna Bus was unable to beat the Anti-Smuggling operatives of the Command.
He said that within the period under review, a total of 1,686 parcels were arrested with the street value estimated at over N30 million.
The Anti-Smuggling Czar therefore explained that, 175 x 6 Yards of Textile materials valued N2,242,287.00, 15 sacks of used clothing worth N677,486.00, 28 cartons of Medicament of N1,083,978.00, 410 sacks of School bags valued N13,227,113.00, 2,000 cartons of expired biscuits established to be N7,742,700.00, and other truck laden with 493 packs of baby diapers worth N4,100,000.00 were duly arrested.
Uba also stated that, “As part of our community service delivery, the Customs Comptroller General, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd) revealed that a total of 25,000 bags of foreign parboiled rice (equivalent to 42 trailer trucks), 650 bags of Sugar, 150 cartons of tin tomato, 150 bags of flour and 250 kegs of vegetable oil were transferred to the Nigerian Army Corps of Supply and Transport (NACST) between the month of April and May this year, for onward delivery to Yobe state government, Damaturu for distribution to IDPs in the State, he said.
He said the orphanages which have benefited from relief items based in the Badagry region as distributed by the Sub-Committee coordinating the distribution of relief materials earlier in the year to some of the homes include; (1) Hephzibah Homes Orphanage (2) Lady Atinuke Oyindamola Memorial Home for the Mentally Challenged So-said Charity home.
The Command, according to him has in its custody eleven (11) seized vehicles. Notably amongst which are; Toyota Highlander (2005), Range Rover (2007), Toyota Rav4 (2006), Toyota Venza (2010) and others. The total Duty Paid Value (DPV) for the vehicles stands at N46,129,880.00, adding that the “Grand Total” for both seizures and revenue earned within the operational period is N2,793,242,214.21.
The Controller said, Six suspects were apprehended during the period under review. Stressing that there are new strategies in place especially by the Command’s determination to detect, arrest and prosecute those who fail to comply with the extant regulations; as their failure will be a cause for regret.
He however expressed optimism for greater heights, and called on patriotic citizens to support the Command by reporting any smuggling activity or any relevant information that will assist in discharging its statutory obligations.
In furtherance to ensure greater feat, he pointed out that the Command aims at assessing modern communication tools to improve cross border efficiency along the corridor in facilitating border crossing for the promotion of regional integration towards simplification, standardization and harmonization of border crossing procedures thus achieving the core mandate of the service.
This is coming at the heels of efforts by the “Customs High Command for Customs-to-Customs Inter-Connectivity between Nigeria and Benin Republic” which will revolutionize the Service operations at the border post, he assured.