ABUJA: The Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone ‘C’ of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) in Owerri says it generated N1.74 billion revenue in first six months of 2017. It said, it made 91seizures with Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N1.74 billion and underpayment recovery of N225.11 million within the period. Alhaji Bukar Amajam, the Comptroller of Customs in the zone, disclosed this on Tuesday, in Owerri at a press briefing on the half year report of seizures and revenues of the unit. Amajam said the zone recorded 10 seizures with a duty paid value of N372.23 million and underpayment recovery of N12.04 million in June.
The figure showed a remarkable increase of N280.36 million over the N91.87 million the zone generated on seizures and underpayment recovery of N10.65 million in May. Giving a breakdown of seizures in June, Amajam listed the items to include 299 bags of rice worth N84.19 million with the means of conveyance, a Mack Truck with DPV of N8.10 million, and 380 cartons of soap valued at N10.09 million. Also confiscated in June was a Range Rover Jeep Sport 2017 model with DPV of N37.08 million and 4118 cartons of frozen poultry items worth N83.39 million which were destroyed. Reports that other seizure were Mercedes Benz G65(AMG) Jeep with DPV of N37.79 million and a 1x40ft container with assorted commodities including 10, 000 pieces of children bags, 303 pieces of suitcase,15 pieces of television, 240 pieces of jewelry all worth N111.57 million. Amajam said the items were seized because they were in contravention of extant government policies. He said there were other goods currently in detention, while investigations were still ongoing.
According to him, the various seizures were made mostly by customs patrol units in Benin, Enugu, Onitsha, Eleme, and Mfum areas of the zone. The unit controller attributed the achievements to the efforts of the Comptroller General of Customs, Retired Col Hameed Ali, and his management team, whom he said, provided necessary support and logistics for them to succeed in their operations. He said the hard work and creativity of his men and officers as well as the spread of information gathering equally came to play. He said that 27 smuggling cases were pending in courts, while 20 suspects were arrested, but were granted bail having met bail conditions.
Amajam said that, while the smugglers had kept finding new ways to evade detection, the NCS would keep up with its ingenious and better ways of nipping their activities in the bud. “Evidence of our commitment can be seen in the quality of seizures and high duty paid value accruable to the government. “Our work in the zone will continually yield great benefits and results to the nation at large as we improve on our operations to increase revenue generation, security of lives and property and trade facilitation,” he said. He commended importers and traders that were complying with the customs laws and regulations and urged them not to relent. The FOU Zone ‘C’ boss urged intending importers and exporters to be familiar with applicable laws and regulations to avoid being on the wrong side of the law.