ABUJA: The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Federal Operations Unit, Zone ‘A’ Ikeja, Lagos has arrested 95 suspects in connection to 475 seizures within the first half of 2017. This is even as the Unit collected N2,582,331,396.9 on interceptions and duty payments on demand notices within the same period under review. According to a statement signed by the Unit Spokesman, Jerry Attah on Sunday and made available to the Nigerian Tribune, the Unit, having intensified its anti-smuggling operations, intercepted various contraband with a duty paid value (DPV) of N1,295,600,724.95 between January to June of 2017. Similarly, the unit through its interventions recovered N1,286,730,671.90 from duty payments and demand notices on general goods that tried to beat the system from seaports, airport and border stations through wrong classification, transfer of value, and short-change in duty payment that are meant for the Federal Government of Nigeria, thereby making a cumulative of N2,582,331,396.9 for the same period under review. Also in the Months under review, 95 suspects were arrested in connection to these seizures, and 475 different seizures were recorded comprising foreign parboiled rice, frozen poultry products, vegetable oil, smuggled vehicles, Indian hemp, arms, fake pharmaceutical/medicaments and various general merchandise.
The Controller, Federal Operations Unit Zone ‘A’ Comptroller Mohammed Uba Garba thanked the Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd) and the entire Management Team of the Nigeria Customs Service for their efforts in recognizing hard work and putting square begs in square holes. Without the Management motivation and necessary logistic support, we won’t have achieved this feat within this period. Similarly, Comptroller Uba commended the commitment and diligence of the Officers and Men of the FOU ‘A’ for thwarting the antics of some dare devil smugglers who used different methods for concealment. He charged all his officers to be professional and diligent in performing their statutory responsibilities; most especially in the area of anti-smuggling operations by making sure all revenue linkages are blocked.
Comptroller Mohammed Uba added that smuggling is a global phenomenon, which cannot be curbed entirely but can be brought to its barest minimum. This feat was not unconnected with the courtesy calls he paid to some key stakeholders most especially sister security agencies within our areas of jurisdiction comprising the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 81 Division, Nigerian Army, Lagos; Commander, 9 Brigade, Nigerian Army, Cantonment Ikeja; Commander, 35 Artillery, Nigerian Army, Alamala Baracks Abeokuta, Ogun State; Commissioners of Police, Ogun and Lagos State where he seeks for their continuous support and cooperation towards winning the war against smuggling. Comptroller Mohammed Uba called on all the members of the forth estate of the realm and the general public to continue the partnership with Nigeria Customs Service in the advocacy campaign against the evil of smuggling to the nation’s economy and provides necessary intelligence that could assist the NCS.