By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
The new Area Controller in charge of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Oyo/ Osun area comman, Mr. Abdullahi Argungu on Thursday disclosed that the command has collected N21.9billion from its excise factories from January this year till date.
Addressing a press briefing the new Oyo/Osun NCS Area Controller also hinted that the Command arrested no fewer than 10 suspects in connection with smuggling of some prohibited items into the country in Oyo and Osun states during the same period.
Mr Argungu stated than since his assumption of office as the new Controller of the Oyo/Osun NCS, the command has recorded “modest achievement” as attested to by the numbers of seizures made by the area command between October 2018 till date.
“Sequent upon my resumption, I embarked on a familiarization tour of the command to sensitize O/C outstations patrols leaders and the entire officers on the nerd to re-strategize and re-invigorate our operations by utilizing modern anti-smuggling techniques in accordance with international best practice in order to achieve the laudable goals of the anti-smuggling campaign of the Nigeria Customs Service,” he said.
The Area Controller gave breakdown of the seized items as “eight used vehicles with duty paid value put at N20,180,876.39k, three thousand and ten 3010 (50kg) bags of rice with duty laid value put at N50, 556,678.25k, six hundred (600, 25 litres) kegs of vegetable oil with duty paid value put at N13,537,125.00k, “.
Other items according to Mr Argungu included “Canabis sativa (Indian hemp) with duty paid value put at 6, 999,776.59, twenty five bales of second hand clothing with duty paid value put at N6,443,671.50k and thirty three means of conveyance with duty paid value put at N16,125,291.97k”.
While emphasizIng that the suspects arrested in connection with the smuggling of prohibited items into the country are still awaiting trials, Mr Argungu urged Nigerians already engaging in legitimate businesses not to exercise any fear in going about their day to day activities,
“Ten suspects have been arrested in connection with smuggling of prohibited items into the country in the last 11 months. We are having the ten suspects awaiting trails. By now we are having ten suspects who are awaiting trails”.
Mr Argungu however maintained that the federal government’s efforts in reviving the nation’s economy through local industries and strengthening security, especially at the nation borders were of utmost priority to the service, saying, “the command would do everything humanly possible in accordance with the law to actualize the goals set by the government in this regard”.
He stressed the need to restrategize and reinvigorate the operations by utilizing modern anti-smuggling techniques in accordance with international best practice in order to achieve laudable goals of the anti-smuggling campaign of the Nigeria Customs Service.”
“The law that prohibits the importation of rice and used vehicles through nation’s border is not new, so those who claim ignorance of the ban have no excuse. Furthermore, due to the recent huge seizure of illicit drugs at the sea ports, it becomes necessary for us to intensify our efforts against illicit drug trafficking through the nation borders with a view to checkmating the influx of illicit drugs through our territorial boundaries.,”
He then enjoined “patriotic citizens who engage in legitimate business not to entertain any fear for the NCS is only concerned about bringing those who flout extant Customs and Excise law and regulations to book and enable those who engage in legitimate business to enjoy trade facilitation”.