The Nigeria Customs Service Area II Command, Onne Port, Rivers State Command has generated N26,388,754,244.37 from duty paid on imported goods within the last three months.
In the same vein, the Command recorded 10 seizures of prohibited items with Duty Paid Value of N543,958,740.00 within the same period under review, which spanned August 16, 2018 to date when the Area Controller, Aliyu Galadima Saidu, took over the Command.
Giving the breakdown while addressing his maiden press conference at Onne Sea Port on Thursday, Comptroller Saidu remarked that a comparative analysis report of the Command’s revenue profile shows that a total sum of N62,593,334,451.00 was generated between the months of January and October last year, while N68,331,473,662.00 was generated between January and October this year.
The Customs Area Controller told newsmen that smuggling posed a huge threat to both the economy and security of the country, saying this is why those who engage in it are considered economic saboteurs since they engage in false declarations to evade the correct duty payment.
“Smugglers are the destroyers of the country’s economy,” he reiterated, insisting that it is very unfortunate and disturbing that despite the wide awareness on the dire consequences of smuggling activities on economic growth and development, some citizens still find joy in perpetrating this evil act only for personal gains.
He stated however that the Comptroller-General of Customs, Colonel Ibrahim Hameed Ali (retd), had zero tolerance for smuggling, just as he emphasized that the Nigeria Customs Service will do everything in its capacity to sustain the tempo.
He said: “Over time, the Customs Area II Command, Onne, has bemoaned the incessant activities of smugglers within our territories, an activity which has wreaked so much havoc on the Nation’s economy. We will not relent in intensifying our efforts to curb this menace.”
Comptroller Saidu then gave a breakdown of the seized items as follows:
1. One thousand and seventy (1,070) Jerry Cans of vegetable cooking oil (25 litres can) with DPV of #8,501,322.00
2. Fifty-five (55) 20ft container of foreign rice which contained 510 (50kg) bags of rice, 1040 (25kg) bags of rice, 19680 (10kg) bags of rice with total DPV of #364,746,762.00
3. A 40ft container comprising of six hundred (600) pairs of military camouflage uniforms, six hundred (600) pairs of military caps, six hundred (600) pairs of military jungle boots; all are totally prohibited items, therefore has no monetary value as regards duty payment.
Found in same 40ft container are fifteen(15) bales of new, eighty (80) rolls of water hose, ten (10) cartons of singlet, fifty (50) cartons of shoes, two hundred and seven (207) cartons of tiles fifteen (15) bales of socks, five (5) sacks of ladies’ skirt and other items with DPV of #4,682,021 were used to conceal the military uniforms.
4. Six (6) 20ft containers with total of thirteen thousand, five hundred and sixty (13,560) cartons of tomatoes’ paste with DPV of #70,502,283.00
5. One hundred and ninety-six (196) bags of imported foreign rice, 30 bags second hand clothing 3 sacks of second hand shoes with DPV of #2,523,295.00
6. A 40ft container of two hundred and ninety bales of second hand clothing and twenty (20) sacks of used shoes with DPV of #12,936,839.00
7. Two (2) 20ft containers comprising two thousand one hundred forty (2,140) Jerry Cans of cooking Oil (25 litres) with DPV #17,002,645.00
8. A container load of five hundred and seventy-five (575) machetes with DPV of
#21,201,500.00 imported with fake end user certificate.
9. A container load of one thousand and seventy (1,070) Jerry-Cans of cooking Oil (25 litres) with DPV #8,501,322.00
10.A 40ft container comprising: (i) one Golf V.W (ii) One used car engine (iii) 15 used car bonnets used to conceal used tyres with DPV of #29,763,797.00.
The Customs Area Controller spoke further: “The total Duty Paid Value (DPV) is five hundred and forty-three million, nine hundred and fifty-eight thousand, seven hundred and forty naira (#543,958,740.00).
“Some suspects were arrested in connection with the seizures and have been transferred to the Customs Headquarters for further investigation.
“The Command is equally facilitating export trade in both oil and non-oil sector; so far, the federal government of Nigeria has realised through export into National Export Supervision Scheme (NESS) account, the total amount of one billion, four hundred and twenty million, two hundred and twelve thousand, nine hundred and thirty – seven naira, two kobo (#1,420,212,937.02.).
“At this juncture, I have to commend the dedication of my Officers and Men coupled with the cooperation of other Units like the Headquarters Strike Force Team, Federal Operations Unit (FOU), and the Customs Intelligence Unit (CIU) in the actualization of these achievements.
“We will continue to draw on our robust intelligence gathering strategy on seaport operations to ensure a secure environment for legitimate importation of goods.
“The Command under my watch will continue to deal decisively with the economic saboteurs, their agents and collaborators; and work for the security and well being of the people of Nigeria.
“Meanwhile, our doors are wide open to all legitimate traders within our Command.
“We hereby solicit the continued support of our media friends in the ongoing fight against smuggling that intend to evade the correct duty payment, by enlightening and educating the general public about the canker-worm and its evil effects on the economic well being of the nation.
“It might also interest you to know that in order to facilitate trade and ensure compliance, a dispute resolution committee was constituted to address all issues of protest and dispute emanating from declarations in the Command.
“It is also newsworthy to note that currently, we are enhancing the capacity of our officers through in-house trainings which will soon be extended to our stakeholders.”
Comptroller Saidu used the forum to acknowledge the support and cooperation he has been receiving from the various stakeholders across the State notably the captains of industry, the sister security services and the general public who, he said, had contributed in one way or the other towards the progress of the Service.
He also gave special kudos to members of the Press, for their invaluable contributions in creating awareness to the general public on the core mandate of the Nigeria Customs Service which include collection of revenue for the government, anti-smuggling activities and facilitation of trade.
While noting that records of the noble efforts of media men in supporting his predecessors are indelible, Comptroller Galadima Saidu said he had no iota of doubt in his mind that they will equally extend their hands of fellowship to him to make the present administration a huge success