Seme Customs Doubles Control on Contraband

Sandra Ukele

The  Seme Area Command of the Nigerian Customs Service has eulogized its efforts in increasing revenue collection, combating smuggling, facilitation of legitimate trade and improvement of community service. This was said in a Press Conference held in the border region recently.

The Command under the leadership of Customs Area Commander Comptroller Mohammed Garba has generated the sum of N1,260,684,226.91 in revenue collection.
It has similarly witnessed the various interception and eventual seizures of various goods, machineries and drugs. The items range from Tramadol to Cannabis, bags of foreign rice, fairly used vehicles, bags of sugar, cans of vegetable oil to mention a few. The grand total of all seizures and revenue accrued is N1,475,050,377.91.

On a recent encounter, a Renault Megane car 2017 model bearing a diplomatic and Nigerian plate number concurrently was intercepted by officers of the Seme Command.

Speaking on event, CAC Garba said:

“It was just yesterday that the driver of the vehicle came to the border and was asked to produce his documents: because there are procedures you cannot just come to the border (or any other border) and drive past without being interviewed.
“The car bore a diplomatic plate number so we asked for the documents that grants it such privilege.

“Instead he gives us a page that says call the phone number of a certain person if access is denied
“On failing to produce the documents we brought him to the station and started investigations. On further revelation we discovered the car had a Nigerian plate number alongside.
“Can you see the conflicting numbers and that calls for more suspicion,” the Comptroller iterated.
Mr. Garba continued, “It is not my work as a Customs Officer to call numbers on your paper, I am here to facilitate trade.”
Responding to the activities of the Seme Command CAC Mohammed Garba replied:
“There are new innovations. We always anticipate the likelihood of smuggling activities in these areas and we devise means ahead of them. That is why we were able to make such arrests.

“A Customs officer who critically looks at goods can tell the integrity of situation. This is because he has been doing his job for a long time based on intelligence.
“Where there is a conflict even between 2 numbers screening starts. The screening will continue until the truth of the matter is established.

“The numbers must not tally. All must be in agreement. And this will go a long way in establishing the fact that there is honesty and integrity.

“Once that is done investigations will start and it is to such extent arrests were made,“ he said.
In his speech Garba stressed while on a Joint Mobile Patrol,4 armed robbery suspects were arrested in the neighbouring  Gbaji axis with ammunition and charms and have since been handed over to FSARS Mowo.
 The CAC attributed the seizures to the intensified operations of the Enforcement unit of the Command.
The Comptroller appreciated the EU/ECOWAS Commission on their continued support in the management of the Joint Border Post.
He also thanked the Comptroller General of Customs Colonel Hammid Ali for his continuous support and encouragement.


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