By: RAYMOND TEDUNJAYE, Lagos
The Controller of Federal Operations Unit, Zone “A” Ikeja of Nigeria Customs Service, Comptroller Mohammed Uba has warned smugglers that they will continue to count their losses in as much as they remain in the illicit business.
Warning that there is no more any escape route in his jurisdiction, the Comptroller disclosed that the Unit has re-strategised its operational modalities, including beaming of searchlight at the creek, water sides and at various locations in south- west in order to ensure full implementation of the government policy banning the importation of rice through the land borders.
Uba pointed out that the strategy has continued to yield fruitful result, stressing that it accounted for the massive rice seizure recorded by the Unit within the period under review.
Speaking a press briefing Wednesday, the Comptroller noted that smuggling is a global phenomenon that can not be eradicated entirely but could be reduced to its barest minimum if all hands are on deck.
His words, ” In order to ensure full implementation of the government policy banning the importation of rice through land borders and following headquarters directive in same, we re-strategised our operational modalities and beam out search light at the creek, water side and at various locations in south west zone and hence the reason for the massive rice seizure within the period under review.
Will continue to make sure smugglers within our areas of jurisdiction count their losses until they repent from sabotaging our economy. As you already know, smuggling is a global phenomenon that can not be eradicated entirely but if all hands are on deck it will be reduced to its barest minimum “.
He commended the officers of the Unit for putting their lives on the line for the seizures recorded, especially the 15 trailers load of rice.
Pointing out that the exercise recorded a big battle between his men and the smugglers at the creek and bush parts, Uba asserted that it was their resilience and doggedness that won the battle for them,adding that it is highly commendable.
While fielding questions from journalists, the Comptroller attributed the urge of importers to under value their goods in order to evade paying the appropriate duty to lack of patriotism and selfish interest.
Submitting that it is not in the interest of the Unit to continue to seize trader’s good, Uba however warned them to be trade complaint or continue to risk the wrath of the law.
” It is not in our interest to continue to seize goods, government gives incentive in order to encourage the traders, but they are not trade compliance.
We want to warn Nigerians to be trade compliance, many Nigerians are not patriotic. If they are, their goods will not end here”‘ he emphasised.