— Records N12.7bn Worth of Seizures in Four Months
By Innocent Orok
The Federal Operations Unit of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Zone ‘A’ in Lagos State has intercepted a vehicle with Covid-19 sticker used to smuggled frozen chicken into the country.
The Unit, also intercepted various other contraband items worth N12.7billion between January to April 2020.
This was contained in a press statement by the Public Relations Officer of the Unit, Jerry Attah, who said the officers intercepted the vehicle under the guise of essential duty, but used in smuggling cartons of frozen chicken into the Country from Benin Republic.
Attah who quoted the Customs Area Controller of the Unit, Deputy Comptroller Usman Yahaya said the vehicle was arrested along Ijebu Ode Expressway .
He also disclosed that they were intercepted based on intelligence and the eagle eye officers who were on routine patrol at the axis.
The Controller said, “the officers were professional enough to intercept the vehicle which was believed to be used in the movement of essential commodities but, was surprise to see that it was used for illegal activities, such as movement of contraband.
“We have arrested the vehicle and investigation has commenced to get to the root and unravel other atrocities that may have been committed using the essential duty tag.”
Meanwhile, speaking on the activities of the command in the last four months, of 2020, Yahaya said contraband worth N12.7 billion were intercepted from smugglers between January to April 2020
According to him, the Unit also paid a whopping N1.14 billion into the Treasury Single Account of the Federal Government from Debit Note (DN) on intercepted containers from Lagos seaports, voluntary payment of Customs duty on vehicles, auction sales from PMS among others.
The breakdown of the seizures are, 25 Units of fairly used vehicles worth N108m, 5,644 Cartons of Frozen Chicken worth N54.1m, 9,843 bags of 50kg smuggled parboiled rice worth N130.4m and sacks of textile materials worth N94m were seized in the month under review.
Others include, N14m worth of used tyres, 3,764 kegs of smuggled vegetable oil worth N69.2m and 8,365 litres of smuggled petrol also known as (PMS) and AGO also known as Diesel worth N35m.
The Customs boss said, “We won’t relent on our anti-smuggling fight especially at this time the government is preaching diversification into the agric sector due to the fall in price of oil in the international market which has affected government revenue base.”
“So, we will ensure that smuggling is reduced to the nearest minimum and not allow to fester as that could be injurious to our economy and wellbeing as a country,” he said.