Seme Customs rakes in over N1bn
.Intercepts 14 exotic vehicles, arrests 3 suspects
.Hands over hard drugs to NDLEA
By Udeme Clement & Faith Idem
The Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, Seme Area Command has recorded outstanding performance in revenue generation, as the Command raked in over N1billion into the coffers of the Federal Government between August and September, 2018.
The Anti- Smuggling Unit of Seme Command also recorded 120 seizures with a Duty Paid Value, DPV, N95million in just two months.
The Customs Area Controller, CAC, of the Command, Comptroller Mohammed Uba Garba made this known, revealed that the Enforcement Unit of the Command made seizures of 14 exotic vehicles, which include; BMW 5 series, Toyota Venza, Mercedes Benz ML 350 and Lexus RX 300 among others, with DPV of over N70million.
Financial Business gathered that a total of 4, 504 bags of foreign rice with DPV of N81, 162,080 (equivalent to 7 trailer trucks), were also seized. Other items intercepted within this short period include frozen poultry products, vegetable oil and sugar worth over N13million.
Operatives of Seme Command swiftly arrested three suspects in connection with some seizures. The suspects are currently under investigation and possible prosecution.
On the huge revenue generated and seizures made within a short period, Comptroller Mohammed Uba disclosed that the Command is re-strategizing by deploying a proactive anti-smuggling approach to enforce government policies, which would boost more revenue generation by the Command.
The CAC further charged officers to complement the effort of Comptroller-General of Customs, CGC Ali Hameed, by adhering strictly to operational procedures, in order to achieve the core mandates of revenue collection, suppression of smuggling and facilitation of legitimate trade along Lagos-Abidjan corridor.
In the same vein, the Command received the visit of Headquarters team, led by Deputy Controller-General of Customs in Charge of Enforcement, inspection and investigation, to sensitise officers on the use of social media. Mohammed, U.G expressed dismay over the flagrant abuse and unprofessional conduct by officers in disseminating official information through social media, pledging adherence commitment by the Command to stamp out the menace.
The CAC, who is also the Chairman, Joint Border Security Meeting, JBSM, informed all relevant border security agencies on the need to comply with the Presidential directives on ‘Ease of doing business’ and strict adherence to ECOWAS protocols of eliminating trade barriers along Lagos-Abidjan corridor.
He affirmed the setting up of an Ad-hoc Joint Task-force from the JBSM platform to be headed by the Commanding Officer 243 Battalion, as internal monitoring mechanism to checkmate the menace of proliferation of checkpoints along the corridor. He advised security Heads to be decisive in taking actions that would facilitate legitimate trade to enhance economic growth.
Comptroller Uba stated that reinvigorated the anti-smuggling Unit of the Command is yielding positive results, as drug traffickers and immigrants who use illegal routes are being apprehended. While handing over to the Nigeria Police, represented by ASP Hillary Ikejiaka, armed robbery suspects arrested by the Command, (Ndidi Chukwuma and Toffa Joshua with N8.5millon in their possession).
The Command also handed over Mr Difo Kenneth Cornelius with 14x500g wraps of Cannabis Sativa valued N85,050.00 to National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, represented by Udontong Essien, for onward investigation and prosecution.
The CAC said the need for collaboration in executing the core functions among security agencies cannot be overemphasized, as demonstrated by the handing over process. While thanking security agencies for their collaborative efforts in protecting the nation’s economy, he warned smugglers and non-compliant stakeholders to be receptive to the new social order of the Service, otherwise the anti-smuggling war would soon be at their doorsteps.