The Federal Operations Unit Zone ‘A’ of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), saddled with the responsibilities of suppressing smuggling among other functions, has released its quarterly report of operations for the first quarter of 2016.
In the release, made available to The Boss, the Public Relations Officer, FOU, Zone ‘A’ Ikeja, Lagos, DCC Uche Ejesieme, declared that the statutory role of the Unit is a compelling factor for a sustained onslaught against the saboteurs of the nation’s economy. He added that the Unit continually review its operational methodologies to meet up with sophisticated strategic standards which the smugglers will find very difficult to decode.
The release reads: “The Unit during the period under reference effected four hundred and eighty one (481) different seizures of offending/prohibited items valued at Five Hundred and Twenty Seven Million, Eight hundred and Thirty Thousand, Three Hundred and Fifty Naira (N527,830,350.00) only with a payable Duty of One Hundred and Forty Million, Five Hundred and Sixty Two Thousand, Five Hundred and Ninety Naira (N140,562,590.00) Only and a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of Six Hundred and Sixty Eight Million, Three Hundred and Ninety Two Thousand, Nine Hundred and Forty Naira (N668,392,940.00) Only. The Unit also apprehended forty two (42) suspects in connection with the Seizures:
The Controller, Federal Operations Unit Zone ‘A’, Comptroller Umar Mohammed Dahiru, gave the narratives as follows:
- One hundred and forty one (141) different Seizures of Rice, totalling eight thousand, one hundred and forty eight (8,148) bags of 50kg parboiled rice and fifty (50) bags of 25kg with Duty Paid Value of Fifty Three Million, One Hundred and Twenty Four Thousand, Five Hundred Naira (N53,124,500.00) Only.
- One hundred and twelve (112) different Seizures of imported Frozen Poultry Products, totalling twenty thousand, seven hundred and forty two (20,742) cartons with Duty Paid Value of One Hundred and Twelve Million, Six Thousand, Eight Hundred Naira (N112,006,800.00) Only.
- Fifty (50) different Seizures of Vegetable oil, totalling two thousand, five hundred and nineteen (2,519) kegs of 25 liters, twenty four (24) kegs of 10 liters, one hundred and forty (140) cartons of kings oil, one hundred and twenty (120) pieces, one thousand, two hundred and fifty (1,250) empty kegs with Duty Paid Value of Eighteen Million, Seven Hundred and Eighty Eight Thousand, Four Hundred Naira (N18, 788,400.00) Only.
- Thirty two (32) Units of Vehicles, twelve (12) cut buses with Duty Paid Value of Eighty Seven Million, Two Hundred and Ten Thousand Naira (N87, 210,000.00) only.
- One hundred and forty eight (148) different Seizures of General Merchandise comprising new & used textile materials, new & used foot wears, mosquito insecticide, spaghetti noodles, various soap & detergent, used tyres, narcotics, compressors, hard drugs, Indian hemp etc with Duty Paid Value of Three Hundred and Ninety Seven Million, Two Hundred and Sixty Three Thousand, Two Hundred and Forty Naira (N397, 263,240.00) only.
In his comparative analysis of report, he also declared that the Unit during the corresponding period of 2015 recorded Six Hundred and Twenty Eight (628) different Seizures with a Duty Paid Value of Four Hundred and Twenty Eight Million, Six Hundred and Sixty Four Thousand, Four Hundred and Four Naira (N428, 664,404.00) only. Whereas the number of seizures for 2015 appeared higher, the quality of Seizures for first quarter of 2016 led to the wide gap in Duty Paid Value.
Further, the Controller noted that the items were seized in line with sections 46 & 47 of the Customs & Excise Management Act CAP C45 LFN 2004; which are on “FORFEITURE OF GOODS IMPROPERLY IMPORTED” AS WELL AS “PENALTY FOR IMPROPER IMPORTATION OF GOODS ETC”, WITH ATTENDANT PENALTIES.
In his closing remarks, the Comptroller remarked that “it is instructive to note that the successes recorded in this first quarter came as a result of the painstaking effort of the operatives. This is in view of the fact that these smugglers are becoming more daring by the day, and in most cases displaying uncommon courage and tenacity in challenging our operatives.
This hostile approach is actually quite expected because of the growing desperation among smuggling kingpins to thwart the efforts of our operatives, using all available means, both conventional and unconventional methods.”
He noted however, that the Unit has remained undeterred and unshaken even in the face of this aggression on the part of smugglers and their collaborations.