In its fight against smuggling, the Federal Operations Unit, Zone A, of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) recorded seizures with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N537,479,927.5 for the month of July.
The Command also raise N24,957,351.71 in revenue by carefully scrutinizing import paperwork and sending demand letters to importers and agents who were found to have underpaid their duties.
This was announced by Comptroller Hussein Ejibunu, the unit’s acting controller, at a briefing at the headquarters for the accomplishments made in the month of July 2022.
Comptroller Ejibunu remarked that if not for the vigilance and unyielding nature of Unit officers, the revenue recovered would have been lost to some non-compliant importers/agents.
Among the notable seizures were: 39 bales of used clothing; 7,261 bags of 50 kg foreign parboiled rice (equal to 12 trucks’ worth); 600 bags of 5 kg basmati rice; 34,725 liters of petroleum motor spirit (PMS); and 225 pieces of used tires.
Additionally, 331 cartons of frozen poultry VIII and 201 cartons of seasoning (Chicken Cubes) that have expired. During the time under review, 42 units of used motorcycles, 900 pairs of worn shoes, 2,634 boxes of slippers and shoes, 6 units of used imported autos, and other products were intercepted.
Ejibunu asserts that the seized commodities are dangerous to the public’s health and safety and adds that nine suspects were detained in connection with some of the seizures.
The Acting Controller further commented on the seizures, saying: “A misplaced priority as demonstrated in the use of hard-earned forex for the importation of used clothing, shoes, and tyres is not only harmful to the economy, but also a despicable act by some desperate importers to make money at the expense of other people’s health.
“Let me take this opportunity to remind you that poultry products are still restricted from import due to the associated health and financial effects. You might find it interesting to know that, in her wisdom, the federal government forbade the importation of poultry goods in order to promote the expansion of domestic poultry farms and to safeguard them from international competition.
“Second, it was found that hazardous chemicals were used to assist preserve the products throughout transportation because their frozen state could not be maintained until they reached the ultimate consumers. The public should be concerned about this act because it may be a cause of various illnesses and disorders.
“Perhaps every family in Nigeria has experienced one of the following: an accident brought on by a defective or used tire, skin conditions like cancer, or one of many other things as a result of consuming illegally imported goods. While we all feel for those who are impacted by this threat, we also urge patriotic individuals to work with the Customs Service and other law enforcement organizations to eradicate it.
“You might remember that there was a shortage of premium motor spirit (PMS) a few weeks ago, forcing Nigerians to pay extra for it. Many Nigerians endured this misery despite the fact that the federal government had subsidized the commodity for domestic use, in part because some dishonest citizens decided to smuggle the products into the Republic of Benin; some of which were along the border corridors.
He requested helpful and timely information from patriotic Nigerians in order to assist the service tame smuggling while also pointing out that the daredevil smugglers are tenacious in carrying out their illegal and nasty businesses.
Controller Ejibunu urged law-abiding importers and their agents to maintain their level of compliance because the Unit and the Service are steadfastly committed to enabling legal trade.