*Seizes items worth over N2.8bn
*Harps inter agency synergy
By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
As the 2023 Yuletide closes in, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone B Kaduna, has warned smugglers that they would be in for tough times while attempting to smuggle items into the country.
Comptroller FOU Zone B, Comptroller Dalha Wada Chedi handed out the warning while briefing newsmen at the zonal headquarters in Kaduna yesterday.
“I call on all stakeholders, especially traders and business people, including all Nigerians to eschew all activities that are in violation of the customs extant laws, so that we can continue to respect ourselves and support the development and growth of our national objectives; as we will leave no stone unturned to ensure that all acts of smuggling and anti-economic activities are fully challenged and the full force of the law brought to bear.
“We are not unaware that within the ember months and especially this Yuletide period, many would want to engage in illegal activities, smugglers and all other unscrupulous traders are warned to steer clear of Zone B, our men are fully on ground and combat ready to act in accordance with Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and as enshrined in the Nigeria Customs Service Act 2023,” he said.
Comptroller Wada who took over from M.I. Jallo on October 20, 2023, also informed that since assumption of duty, lots of success has been recorded by the zone.
He explained that with the support and motivation provided for the zone by the Comptroller General of NCS, B.A. Adeniyi, officers and men of the command are revved up for action and would leave no stone unturned in frustrating the business of smuggling in the zone.
He reminded that the embargo on Niger Republic by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is still in place, hence their borders with Nigeria remain closed.
“As you are all aware that our primary assignment is that of suppression of smuggling and the combat of all anti-economic activities in all its ramifications, which we do through vigorous customs host community relationship and partnership with all relevant agencies of government.
“Therefore, l am happy to announce that so far, the Unit has recorded a total of Two Hundred and Forty-Two (264) seizures of 21 Different items between the date of my resumption and now, which also clearly speak of our resolve as a Unit to continue to improve on our strategies and overall performances by building on the strong foundations we inherited,” he said.
He used the opportunity to draw draw attention to the fact that the closure of all land borders with Niger Republic is in full force, l wish to remind all and sundry that our Unit will continue to ensure full compliance with the directives of the leadership and management of the Nigeria Customs Service saddled with the duty of implementing the Federal Government directives.
The FOU Zone B. Comptroller emphasized that their unit will continue to leverage on the policy thrust of the Comptroller General of Customs Bashir Adewale Adeniyi MFR in terms of all operational processes aimed at achieving optimal results.
“I am also happy to present the statistics of the detentions and seizures made within the period under review with the Total Duty Paid Value (DPV) of two billion, eight hundred and eighty-eight million, four hundred and sixty thousand, two Hundred and ninety-four naira and sixty-Eight Kobo ( N2,888,460,294.68) only,” he said.
According to him, the breakdowns of the seized items are as follows:
212 cartons of milky creamier worth N5,525,829
2,131 cartons spaghetti worth N17,972,861
76 cartons expired seasoning worth N4,679,073.38
640 bales second hand clothing worth N137,356,402.15
2,991 bags 50kg rice worth N202,202,737.20
Others are; 61 Used Vehicles, worth N2,073,835,718.23, 18 means of conveyance, worth N236,386,387.47, 25 Bags of Foreign Parboiled Rice (25Kg each) worth 994,815.00, 292 foreign refined vegetable oils (25litres each) worth N17,943.400.00 and 2131 cartons of spaghetti, macaroni & couscos worth N17,972,861.32.
Also, 640 Bales of foreign secondhand clothing worth N137,356,492.15, 147, sacks of foreign secondhand shoes worth N21,957,573.75, 360 cartons of frozen poultry products worth N20,308,932.00, 120 cartons of foreign pomade worth N8,973,421.20, 98 pieces of foreign jack knives worth N1,242,961.44, 34 cartons of foreign condensed milk worth N3,808,451.20 and 1972 jerry cans of PMS (25 litres each) worth N22,975,811.15 were seized.
The list also includes, 20 bundles of foreign used tyres worth N917,978.40, 16 cartons of foreign Hookah (Tobacco) worth N4,563,136.00, 337 cartons of foreign cigarettes worth N80,278,792.00, 78 cartons of foreign medicament, worth N3,580,115.76, 870 pieces foreign machetes worth N7,586,186.85, 76 bags of Ammonium Sulphate (25Kg each) worth N15,724,096.38 and
10 bags of foreign flour worth N695,614.00 were confiscated.
He explained that the above modest success is in lieu of their intelligence drive and improved strategies to raise our operational performances.
“I like to register my profound gratitude to our critical partners the Military, Nigeria Police Force, National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and all other sister agencies and to assure them that the Unit will continue to partner with them accordingly.
“We have enjoyed their unwavering corporation and support and solicit for more collaboration, including your good selves, our revered gentlemen of the forth estate of the realm, for showcasing our activities even as we look forward for more of your objective reportage.
“However, in line with our Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), all items seized that are more relevant to our sister agencies’ mandate will be handed over to them in the course of this show case specifically NAFDAC where our Unit today will hand over all seized Pharmaceuticals items to them for further investigation and prosecution wherever possible,” he said.
Meanwhile, the seized pharmaceutical products were during the briefing, handed over to NAFDAC for further investigation and possible prosecution.
NAFDAC represented by Abubakar Masud who is an Asst Director, said that no security agency can survive on its own
He appreciated NCS for synergy to curb illegal drugs from entering the country, hence safeguarding lives of Nigerian public.