Customs in Ogun-1 Command makes impressive performance
* Records seizures worth over N2.3billion
*As Comptroller Kolo warns against incessant attacks on officers
( Report by Udeme
The Ogun -1 Command of Nigeria Customs Service has made impressive performance in anti-smuggling drive and revenue generation for the Federal Government.
The Command under Comptroller Peter C. Kolo, as the new Customs Area Controller (CAC), recorded seizures worth over N2.2billion from January to December 2020.
The Command also realised N113.8million in January 2021, making a total of more than N2.3billion for the period under review.
Comptroller Kolo, disclosed these details to reporters during a press conference at Idiroko.
His words, “The border closure lasted more than one year, hence the only source of revenue for the Command as of today are fees collected from auction sales of seized petroleum products and other perishable items.
For instance, revenue collected from auction sales of seized petroleum products from January to December 2020 is N64,212,500.00, while N1,557,500.00 was realised in January 2021, making a total of N65,770,000.00.
“Items seized from January to December 2020, include 47,601 bags of foreign rice – (79 trailer loads);
461 units of vehicles and means of conveyance.
Other items includes poultry products used tyres, second hand clothing, dangerous drugs (tramadol and cannabis sativa), palm oil, assorted soap and cream.
In January, 2021, the Command seized 6,038 bags of rice, (50kg each), another 100 bags of rice, (25kg each), making a total of 6,138 bags (Ten trailer loads). 44 units of vehicles used as means of conveyance. 7 units of Tokunbo vehicles under detention, total is 51 Units and
grand total of 512 Units, for the period under review.
“Others include 1,382 cartons of poultry products, 22,050 litres of PMS; 21 bales of second hand clothes; one sack of used shoes; two bags of textiles materials; one
carton of tomato paste. The total number of seizures from January to December 2020, are 1,686. 144 seizures were made in January 2021. So, the grand total for Seizures is 1,830.”
The CAC went on, “Note that there is remarkable increase in the number and quantities of seizures recorded in the month of January, 2021.
“The Command was able to make these achievements due to the following steps:
Aggressive stakeholders engagement.
Deployment of intelligence in all areas of operations across the state.
Structural reorganisation of the Command. Improved motivation of officers by Customs Management.
Improved discipline and total dedication to duty by officers of the Command.
“However, these achievements so far, were not made on a platter of gold. On several occasions, our officers while performing their lawful duties came under serious harassment and attacks by dare-devil smugglers and their supporters, who used pump action riffles, AK47 riffles, local charms and other dangerous weapons, which resulted to casualties on either side or both. For instance on the October 12, 2020, one officer, AIC Solomon Alagye was killed and another officer of the Service CAI (T) Taiwo Odeyemi is still missing up till today, after an attack on their patrol team on December 3, 2020 by criminal gangs.
“We wish to reiterate that sustained attack on operatives of NCS and other sister Agencies will not deter us from performing our legitimate duties in Ogun State.
“The Command will continue to dialogue and educate the public on economic implications of smuggling, as well as performing statutory functions of enforcing compliance in line with government fiscal policies.
“Permit me to use this opportunity to appeal to parents and guardians residing in border communities to prevail on their wards and youths to desist from such criminal acts of smuggling and attacks on Security agencies.
“During courtesy visit to traditional rulers in various communities in the State, we sought their support in combating smuggling and urged them to educate their subjects on the menace of smuggling and further warned strongly against incessant attacks on security operatives discharging their statutory duties, as that will no longer be tolerated.
“In all the traditional palaces visited, the same challenges facing the border communities were enumerated to include lack of Federal Government presence in terms of infrastructure and development. Unemployment of youths was mentioned. The request for Customs to specifically create a quota for children of the border communities during its recruitment exercises to generate employment for them was made’.
The CAC promised to communicate their request to Customs Management.
The CAC appreciated the collaborative efforts of sister agencies in the fight against smuggling and sought for continuous support. He pledged to operate an open door policy to grant easy access to his office with the aim of ensuring efficiency and effectiveness in implementation of government fiscal policies.
His pointed out, “It is important to note that activities embarked upon by the Command are patriotic duties in the interest of national security and economic wellbeing of Nigeria. NCS operatives in observance of the rules of engagement will continue to carry out its legitimate duties as prescribed by law.
“We thank Community leaders and other government Agencies showing concern and collaborating with the Service for their continuous support. We also appreciate the Press for being objective in reporting the challenges faced by Officers while on duty.”