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Customs Declares N1.5Bn In Two Months, Controller Says Life Important Than Revenue

Ajibola Abayomi,

January 16, 2019

Controller Uba Mohammed (3rd from left) flanked by other officers of the Nigeria Customs Service while reacting to questions from the media

Despite making a whopping N1, 550, 55,122, 539 (One Billion, Fifty Five Million, One Hundred and Twenty Two Thousand, Five Hundred and Thirty Nine Naira, Sixty Eight Kobo in just two months, Controller Uba Garba Mohammed of the Nigeria Customs Service (NSC) Seme Command had declared that his men would continue to discharge their duties with total respect to lives of Nigerians.

These are the words of the Controller while reeling out seizures and revenue by the unit since December 2018 in the week.

He noted that though there were concerns within the customs over rate of smuggling and attack on its officers, Uba however said his men had been cautioned to exercise high level of civility while chasing smugglers.

The controller who said the command had a revenue target of N81 billion naira last year and was able to deliver 87% of the expected fund was quick to state that the Seme Command placed more premium on safety of innocent lives during its operations.

“Don’t think that the customs is out because of revenue. We are more concerned about the security of our economy by disallowing those things that can cause arm to the nation to go through the boarder. Despite that our men are armed while chasing smugglers they have been trained to ensure that the safety of law abiding citizens is put into consideration.”

Giving a further breakdown of the seizure, he said the Command seized a total of 6, 753 bags of 50kg foreign parboiled rice equivalent to over 11 trucks of rice.

The product had Duty Paid Value (DPV) and levy totaling, N157, 479, 960 (One Hundred And Fifty Seven Million, Four Hundred And Seventy Nine Thousand, Nine Hundred and Sixty Naira) within the period under review.

The school bus confiscated by the customs at the Seme boarder

He also affirmed that seized 91 parcels of hard drugs and narcotics had been handed to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

Among the 28 intercepted vehicles was a Mitsubishi Triton L200, 2005 Model belonging to Blue Boat Company branded “Freshyo Drinking Yoghurt” detained since December 12, 2018 which he regretted was occasioned by a greedy driver who decided to assist smugglers.

The Mitsubishi vehicle was allegedly stuffed with twenty bags of smuggled rice ostensibly from Benin Republic.

Customs officers from the command also beat the smugglers to their antics while attempting to use a school bus belonging to Divine Peace Nursery/ Primary school to ferry contrabands across the border.

Twenty-two (22) other fairly used vehicles comprised Toyota Coaster Van (2014 model), Toyota Land Cruiser Prado (2011), Mercedes Benz GLK 350 (2010), Toyota Sienna (2013), Toyota 4Runner (2014) and others.

The DPV of the vehicles was put at N177, 314,091 (One Hundred And Seventy Seven Million, Three Hundred and Fourteen Thousand and Ninety One Naira).

Other confiscated  items included 45 x 25 litres jerry cans of vegetable oil with DPV of N573,750 (Five Hundred and Seventy Three Thousand, Seven Hundred and Fifty Naira.

The seizures also included 135 x 50kg bags of Sugar with DPV N567, 000 (Five Hundred and Sixty Seven Thousand Naira, 71 x 25 litres of PMS with DPV of N106,500 (One Hundred and Six Thousand, Five Hundred Naira), 21 cartons of tinned tomatoes with DPV of N127, 575 (One Hundred and Twenty Seven Thousand, Five Hundred and Seventy Five) and two sacks of used shoes with N67, 500 (Sixty Seven Thousand, Five Hundred Naira).

Mohammed disclosed that one of the suspects, Difo Kenneth Cornelius who was transferred to the Nation Drug Law Enforcing Agent (NDLEA) Seme command in August 2018 had been prosecuted and sentenced to two years imprisonment on November 30, 2018 for unlawful possession of 7kg of Cannabis Sativa.

In December 2018 alone, the command generated the sum of N623, 028, 442.68 (Six Hundred and Twenty Three Million, Twenty Eight Thousand, Four Hundred and Forty Two Naira, and Sixty Eight Kobo).

The overall  revenue was put at N1, 550, 55,122, 539 (One Billion, Fifty Five Million, One Hundred and Twenty Two Thousand, Five Hundred and Thirty Nine Naira, Sixty Eight Kobo as at January 2019.



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