From Anthony Nwachukwu, Lagos
Following intensified anti-smuggling campaigns along the land borders and various interventions within the zone, the Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone ‘A,’ Ikeja, of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) generated total revenue of N5,960,280,863.00 in 2017.
The figure comprised the various contrabands intercepted, with a duty paid value (DPV) of N4,004,258,331.52, as well as the N1,956,022,531.65 from various interventions, the FOU Public Relations Officer, Mr. Jerome Attah, explained.
These included 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, shortchange in duty payment.
A hundred and seventy-nine 179 suspects were also arrested in connection with the different seizures totaling 1,046 and “comprising foreign parboiled rice, frozen poultry products, vegetable oil, smuggled vehicles, Indian hemp, arms, fake pharmaceutical/medicaments and various general merchandise.”
According to Comptroller Mohammed Uba Garba, it was the command’s highest number of seizures and revenue so far in spite of the challenges in 2017.
He attributed it to the positive leadership style of the Comptroller-General, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd), and his management team “in recognising hard work and putting square begs in square holes,” adding: “Without motivation and the necessary logistic support, we won’t have achieved this feat within this period.”
Uba also 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 to deceive the agency. He charged them to remain professional and diligent in their statutory responsibilities in 2018, especially in anti-smuggling operations, by blocking all revenue linkages.
He further enjoined all citizens to help check the economic saboteurs, adding that smuggling as a global phenomenon cannot be curbed entirely but could be reduced to its barest minimum.
Uba equally commended security and sister-agencies, such as the Nigerian Army, Nigeria Police, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), National Administration for Food, Drug and Control (NAFDAC) and the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), among others, for logistics support and cooperation in the war against smuggling within the south-west zone.
Meanwhile, he advised all would-be smugglers and their accomplices to desist from such illegality and invest their money in legitimate ventures, as the command, through other operational modalities, was ever determined to battle them to submission.