Customs at Onne rakes in N26.38bn …Seizes Military uniforms, boots in 40ft container …Arrests suspects

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Customs at Onne rakes in N26.38bn

.Seizes Military uniforms, boots in 40ft container

.Arrests suspects

By Udeme Clement

The CAC and other officers displaying the seized items:

The Nigeria Customs Service, Area11 Command, Onne Port, Rivers State, has generated a whooping sum of N26.38billion revenue from duty paid on imported goods into the coffer of the Federal Government in the last three months.

The Command also recorded 10 seizures with a Duty Paid Value, DPV, of N544million from August 2018 till date, the same period under review.

The new Customs Area Controller, CAC, of Onne, Comptroller Aliyu Galadima Saidu, made this outstanding performance within three months of taking over the Command.

Giving the breakdown while addressing newsmen, at Onne Seaport, Comptroller Saidu said a comparative report of the Command’s revenue profile shows that a total of N62.59billion was generated from January to October 2017, while N68.33billion has been realised from January to October 2018, with remarkable difference in revenue records this year.

The CAC frowned at nefarious activities of smugglers, saying illicit trade poses serious danger to both the economy and security of the whole country.   “That is why those engaging in such illegal activities are seen as economic saboteurs; even as they also engage in false declarations to evade payment of correct duty to government”, he stressed.

Comptroller Saidu who expressed strong displeasure about smuggling said, “Smugglers are those destroying the country’s economy. It is very disturbing that despite the awareness on the negative consequences of smuggling to economic growth and development, some citizens still find joy in perpetuating this evil act just for personal gains”.

He emphasized, ‘The Comptroller-General of Customs, CGC, Hameed Ali, has zero tolerance for smuggling and we must do everything within our capacity to sustain the tempo of anti-smuggling activities in all ramifications”.

The CAC asserted, “Overtime, Onne Command has bemoaned incessant activities of smugglers within our territories, activities which wreaked so much havoc on the nation’s economy. We would not relent in intensifying our efforts to curb the menace in all ramifications.”

His explanation, “Some of the items seized by the Command included 1,070 Jerrycans of vegetable oil with DPV of N8,501,322.00;  55 (20ft) containers of foreign rice, which contained 510 (50kg)bags of rice; 1040 (25kg) bags of rice, 19680 (10kg) bags of rice with DPV of N364,746,762.00.

“A 40ft container comprising 600 pairs of Military Camouflage uniforms and 600 pairs of Military jungle boots, all absolute prohibited items, therefore, has no monetary value as regards duty payment. Found in the same 40ft container were 80rolls of water hose; 10 cartons of singlet; 50 cartons of shoes; 207 cartons of tiles; 15bales of socks; five sacks of ladies skirt and other items  with DPV of N4,682,021, used to conceal the Military uniforms.

“Others were six 20ft containers with 13,560 cartons of tomato paste worth N70,502,283.00; 196 bags of secondhand clothing; three sacks of secondhand shoes with DPV of N2,523,295.00; a 40ft container load of 290 bales of secondhand clothing; 20 sacks of used shoes with DPV of N12,936,839.00 and two 20ft containers with 2,140 Jerrycans of vegetable oil worth N17,002,645.00.

“A container loaded with 575 machetes with DPV of N21,201,500.00 imported with fake End-User-Certificate; a 40ft container with one Gulf, one used car engine, 15 used car bonnets, which were used to conceal tyres with DPV of N29,763,797.00, among other items”.

The CAC pointed out, “Some suspects were arrested in connection with the seizures and have been transferred to Customs Headquarters for further investigation.

“Onne Command is equally facilitating export trade in oil and non-oil sectors of the economy. So far, government has realised N1.4billion through export into the account of National Export Supervision Scheme, NESS“.

The CAC commended officers of Onne Command for their hard work and resilience, coupled with cooperation of other Units like the Headquarters Strike Force Team, Federal Operations Unit, FOU, and Customs Intelligence Unit, CIU, in actualisation of these feats.

His words, “We would continue to draw our robust intelligence gathering strategy on Seaport operations to secure our operating environment for legitimate importation of goods.

“Onne Command under my watch would continue to deal decisively with economic saboteurs, their agents and collaborators, as we work for the security and well being of our people. Meanwhile, our doors are wide opened to all legitimate traders within our Command.

“We hereby solicit the continuous support of the media for the on-going fight against smuggling, in educating the public on the evil effects of illicit trade on the nation’s economy.

“It might also interest you to know that, in order to facilitate trade and ensure compliance, a Dispute Resolution Committee was constituted to address all issues of protest and conflicts emanating from declarations in the Command.

“It is also news worthy to note that currently, we are enhancing the capacity of our officers through in-house training, which would soon be extended to our stakeholders”.

Comptroller Saidu used the forum to acknowledge the support and cooperation he received from various stakeholders across the State, notably the captains of industries, sister security agencies and media in constantly enlightening the public on the need to comply with government fiscal policies, in order to enhance trade facilitation in line with global best practice.

The CAC and other officers displaying the seized items:
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