Customs at Seme rakes in N2.8bn
.Seizes 27 trailers of foreign rice, 21 vehicles
.Arrests 7 suspects
By Udeme Clement
The Seme Area Command of Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, has recorded outstanding performance in revenue generation, as the Command raked a huge sum of N2.8billion into the coffers of the Federal Government in just two months
The Command also intercepted 27 trailers of foreign rice, 21 vehicles comprising of exotic cars and others smuggled illegally into the country against government’s trade policy.
The Command swiftly arrested seven suspects in connection with 850 seized items.
The Command also interacted mini-trucked fully loaded with smuggled rice inside the inner –compartment of the engine.
Taking Journalists round the Command where the mind boggling seizures were displayed in the open, the Customs Area Controller, CAC, of Seme, Comptroller Mohammed Uba Garba, also visited the warehouse where different prohibited items were kept.
Financial Business Correspondent who captured the press conference at Seme Border observed that the large warehouse was filled to the brim with seizures of rice, vegetable oil, used tyres, sugar, petroleum products, Tramadol, textile materials among other items.
Addressing newsmen at the ECOWAS Joint Border Post, Comptroller Uba who expressed strong displeasure on the activities of smugglers said, “You are aware that government had in January 2017 banned importation of vehicles through the land borders. The ban followed an earlier order given in 2016, banning importation of rice through the same route with a view to encouraging local production, in order to boost the growth of agriculture in Nigeria”.
He explained, “Beyond the statistics of revenue and seizures made within this period, it is obvious that these seizures represent protection of the economy and security of our people. Let me say clearly here that it is simply not enough to inform you about the revenue, seizures and the Duty Paid Value, what is paramount is to boost economic growth and create jobs for our youths in the country”.
Comptroller Uba stressed, “For the avoidance of doubt, we are not out to frustrate members of the public or indeed the business community. Our major interest is to facilitate legitimate trade. All those who are compliant traders have nothing to fear. We remain determined to detect, arrest and prosecute those who do not comply with the extant laws regarding importation and exportation through the land borders”.
Giving a break-down of the seizures, he said, “Items seized were; 21 vehicles worth N134,410,536; 16,729 bags of rice, equivalent to over 27 trailers, with Duty Paid Value, DPV, of N302,477,049; 115 cartons of poultry products with DPV of N728,654; 111 used tyres worth N859,345, petroleum products worth N300,572; Tramadol worth N11,090,832; sugar worth N7,394,521; textiles materials worth N774,270 and coconut worth N2,313,360, among other items.”
Comptroller Uba commended the efforts of CGC Ali in reforming the Service for greater productivity.