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*Between Ogun Customs and Okada smugglers at Idiroko border

  • Comptroller Kolo dares economic saboteurs

The first question here is;

Can inanimate object like picture speak ?
No and yes !
No, in the sense that pragmatically a picture is just a lifeless piece of paper or image. Yes, a picture speaks figuratively when the image arouses curiosity of viewers, who may either try to interpret, or even add another meaning to it.

Dear readers look at the picture above. What can you find on this picture ?
Motorcycles, isn’t it ?
Ofcourse yes !
Everyone looking at this picture now can see different types of motorcycles popularly known as OKADA.

Again, look at the same picture more carefully. Focus on the front-view and give particular attention to the ambience where these large numbers of motorclyes are kept.
Can you find something striking about this picture and the environment?

In reality, this picture though inanimate, speaks for itself. But it speaks a different kind of language that can only be decoded easily by those who used these motorcycles, security agents of government who seized them and the photographer who captured the image on this picture.

The picture above speaks a language of illegality, criminality, economic sabotage, illicit trade and nefarious activities by smugglers working against government policies to grow the nation’s economy.

So, the motorcycles (OKADA) you are looking at on this picture are seized items. The ambience is the office of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), in Abeokuta, Ogun State.

The motorcycles on this picture are not the ones passengers patronise daily as means of transportation to escape chaotic traffic on the roads. For instance, the type of traffic gridlock
on the popular Apapa ports access roads in Lagos, where port users, workers, even top government officials go to offices daily on Okada.

The motorcycles on this picture are used by illicit traders to smuggle foreign rice and other prohibited items across the border between Nigeria and Benin Republic.

Our investigations revealed that some motorcycles on this pictures are fabricated with extra iron carriers to load as many as 10 bags of rice each across the border.
Also, the Okada smugglers have perfected the illegal act of smuggling through the forest and bush paths accross the border communities.

Between Ogun Customs and Okada smugglers at Idiroko border
Another intriguing question is; how did the motorcyles get to Customs office in Ogun State?
The answer points to the dodggedness and assiduousness of Customs Area Controller (CAC) of Ogun -1 Command, Comptroller Peter Kolo and his enforcement officers, who are chasing Okada smugglers day and night at Idiroko border.

The turning point is; as smugglers device new ways of bringing contraband into the country through Ogun State axis, Compt Kolo and his men are always on top of their game, using superior intelligence to defeat smugglers and thwart their illegat act.

The tenacity of these Customs officers in protecting the nation’s economy from illicit traders, notwithstanding the volatile nature of Idiroko border community brought about the large numbers of seized motorcycles on this picture.
For instance, many of the motorcycles were intercepted with prohibited items at night by Customs officers on night patrol.

The picture in focus was taken by our Correspondent few days ago in Abeokuta, among the seizures displayed by Comptroller Kolo, while briefing Journalists on activities of his Command in first quarter of 2021.

That was not all.
The Command also seized 19,000 bags of smuggled rice (equivalent to 38 trailers), from January to March 2021.
Most spectacular was the seizure of 7,000 bags of foreign rice (equivalent to 12 trailers), recorded in the month of March 2021 alone.

In the same March, the Command made 167 seizures of various contraband items, which included frozen poultry products, smuggled petrol, Cannabis Sativa, vehicles, secondhand clothes, vegetable oil, tomato paste, among others. The Duty Paid Value for seizures made in March alone stands at over N116,586,607.00 (approximately N116.6million).

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