The Nigeria Customs service has again warned smugglers and persons involved in the smuggling of contraband and outlawed goods that the service is always a step ahead of them through intelligence gathering and steadfastness adding that the command will stop at nothing to send them out of business.
This warning was handed down to smugglers by the Controller Kwara Area Command, Ahmed Hussaini Bello, fsi during a briefing with journalists in Ilorin to give a half year account of stewardship in the command, January to June, an event which took place at the command headquarters, Ilorin on Tuesday.
Hussaini Bello describe as unprecedented thenumber of seizures made during the period under review, despite border closure lamenting that the smugglers have continued to dare the command with importation of banned items and smuggling through unapproved routes.
He said that the Command made seizures of various items with Duty Paid Value (DPV) of (₦320, 766,000.00) Three Hundred and Twenty Million, Seven Hundred and Sixty Six Thousand Naira with arrest of Four (4) suspects in the period under review.
Some of the items seized are 2, 598 Bags of foreign par boiled Rice (Estimated to be over 4 trailers of Rice, 34 Kegs of Vegetable oil of 25 liters each, 41 Units of various types of used Vehicles, 372 Jerri cans of PMS of 25 liters each, 3,742 Kg of Cannabis Sativa popularly known as Marijuana or Indian Hemp all, being already handed over to NDLEA.
Bello stressed the need for smugglers to embrace legitimate business and end crime of smuggling because the command is ready to send them out of illegitimate business by not get tired until smuggling is suppressed to the barest minimum.
The Controller also, in conjunction with relevant authorities like NAFDAC, SON, NESREA and KWEPA supervised the burning of several items of contrabands after being certified not fit for both Human and Animal consumption by regulatory authorities.
The items destroyed include 927 Bags of foreign Rice, 123 Bags of Semolina of 10Kg each, 25 Bags of semolina of 5kg each and 35 Cartons of Mamador Vegetable Oil all with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of Twelve Million Eight Hundred and Seventy Seven Thousand Three Hundred Naira (₦12,877,300.00).
Bello also disclosed that despite the COVID 19 lockdown that affected the economy, his command was able to make about Four Billion Seven Hundred and Forty Eight Million Two Hundred and Seventy Thousand Three Hundred and Sixty Five Naira Thirty Four Kobo (₦4, 748,270,365.34) and remited same to Federation account.
He lamented the harshness of the lockdown on the global economy in April a situation in which the command made zero revenue but after which new strategies were devised and in May 2020, the command bounced back and surpassed what was generated in March, 2020 with Two Hundred and Eighty Seven Million Nine Thousand Four Hundred and Fifty Six Thousand Forty Eight Kobo (₦287, 009, 456.48).
“It is no longer news that Covid- 19 has affected virtually every aspect not only Nation’s economy but world at large. In month of April, 2020 the Command recorded zero revenue which is as a result of lockdown. In May 2020, we were able to bounced back and surpassed what we generated in March, 2020 with Two Hundred and Eighty Seven Million Nine Thousand Four Hundred and Fifty Six Thousand Forty Eight Kobo (₦287, 009, 456.48).”
“Today, I make bold to say that since my assumption of office here in Kwara area Command, under my watch, we have so far generated the sum of Four Billion Seven Hundred and Forty Eight Million Two Hundred and Seventy Thousand Three Hundred and Sixty Five Naira Thirty Four Kobo (₦4, 748,270,365.34) and remit same to Federation account,” he said.
The Controller used the opportunity to call on Journalist and general public to assist the Service with useful information on smuggling activities within and around their communities and as well remind Nigerians that COVID 19 is real, warning all to live within medical advisory in the interest of all.