The Nigeria Customs Rakes in over N1billion to Government Coffers

Gboyega Oni
The Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Operation Unit (FOU Zone A), Ikeja, Lagos, has saved the nation the sum of One Billion, Five Hundred and Ninety Five Million, One Hundred and Forty One Thousand, One Hundred and Forty Four Naira, One Kobo (N1,595,141,144.81) only, which would have lost to smugglers.
The huge revenue was a duty paid value of various contraband items – 64 assorted vehicles (mostly brand new), 13,333 bags of foreign parboiled rice, 1,390 cartons of frozen chicken, 835 jerrycans of vegetable oil, 15 parcels of India Hemp, 1,101 pieces of used tyres, 205 bales of used clothing, that were recovered from smugglers by the FOU in the month of November, 2017.
Within the same period, the Unit also recovered One Hundred and Eight Million, Three Hundred and Six Thousand, Eighteen Naira, Twenty Five Kobo (N108,306,018.25) making a cummulative of One Billion, Seven Hundred and Three Million, Four Hundred and Forty Seven Thousand, One Hundred and Sixty Three Naira, Six Kobo (N1,703,447,163.06).
Addressing the press at Ikeja office of the Unit on Wednesday December 6, 2017, Controller of the Unit, Comptroller Mohammed Uba said the revenue was saved because of the intensity of the operational modalities put in place by his administration in combatting smuggling and smugglers in the zone.
The Controller said that the huge number of rice (13,333 bags of foreign parboiled rice of 22 trailers) seized showed that the Service is working and supporting the Federal Government policy on rice. According to him, “We need to support the Federal Government policy on rice, encourage local rice farmers, the milers and patronise our own nutritional rice.”
57 out of the 64 vehicles, according to Muhammed, were evacuated based on intelligence along Omole Estate, Ojodu and Olayiwola Close Lekki Phase One, and the remaining 7 were intercepted while our men were on patrol along Ijebu Ode expressway and Olorunda.
The duty paid value of the 64 vehicles – 2 Lexus Jeep (bullet proof), 1 Toyota Land Cruiser (bullet proof), 9 Toyota Hilux, 8 Toyota Hiace Bus, 26 Toyota Corolla, 9 Land Cruiser Jeep, 5 Toyota Camry, 1 Land Rover, 1 Nissan Sentra, 1 Pajero, all 2017 models and 1 Sienna 2015 model and 1 Lexus RX 350, is One Billion, Three Hundred and Two Million, Nine Hundred and Twenty Seven Thousand, One Hundred and Six Naira, Sixteen Kobo (N1,302, 927,106.16) only.
On the identity of the owner of the vehicles, the Controller said nobody has come forward to claim the ownership as he noted that the legal department of the Unit had been mandated to commence investigation on it. “Nobody has come forward to claim ownership yet because we doubt if they have any customs papers on the vehicles, not to talk of the End-User Certificate for the bullet proof. Our Legal unit has already been mandated to investigate it and as soon as we get any head way about the owners or their agents, we will let the public know.”
According to the Controller, a total of 17/20ft containers loaded with wood were under detention on the suspicion that they had not met the required guidelines for export. He added that 1x20ft container was seized for carrying 385 cartons of Tiffany Crunch n’ Cream biscuit, 2,300 cartons of Tiffany chocolate and toffe sweet as against engine block declared in the SGD. “This is clear case of false declaration which tantamount to seizure,” said the Controller.
While praising the Comptroller General of Customs Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (rtd) for providing necessary logisitcs for the officers and men of the Unit to succeed in its mandate, Comptroller Mohammed said the seized India Hemp would be handed over to NDLEA for further investigation, saying the five suspects arrested in connection with the 185 seizures were still in their custody.


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