By Ajibola Abayomi,
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Federal Operations Unit, Zone ‘A’ Ikeja, Lagos recorded Four Billion, Four Million, Two Hundred and Fifty Eight Thousand, Three Hundred and Thirty One Naira, Fifty Two Kobo only (4,004,258,331.52) between January to December 2017 as duty paid value from intercepted contraband.
Similarly, the unit through its interventions recovered One Billion, Nine Hundred and Fifty Six Million, Twenty Two Thousand, Five Hundred and Thirty One Naira, Sixty Five Kobo only (N1, 956,022,531.65).
The amount represented monies realized from duty payments and demand notices on general goods that tried to beat the system from seaports, airport and border stations through wrong classification, transfer of value, and shortchange in duty payment.
The monies were meant for the Federal Government of Nigeria, making a cumulative of Five Billion, Nine Hundred and Sixty Million, Two Hundred and Eighty Thousand, Eight Hundred and Sixty Three Naira, only (5,960,280,863.00) in the year 2017
179 suspects were arrested in connection to 1,046 different seizures comprising foreign parboiled rice, frozen poultry products, vegetable oil, smuggled vehicles, Indian hemp, arms, fake pharmaceutical/medicaments and various general merchandise.
The Controller, Federal Operations Unit Zone ‘A’ Comptroller Mohammed Uba Garba said despite the challenges in 2017 recorded the highest seizures and revenue so far in the history of Federal Operations Ikeja.
He attributed this feat to leadership of the Comptroller General of Customs, Colonel Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd) and the entire Management Team of the Nigeria Customs Service for their efforts in recognizing hard work and putting square begs in square holes.
“Without the Management motivation and necessary logistic support, we won’t have achieved this feat within this period.
Uba while commending the commitment and diligence of the Officers and Men of the FOU ‘A’ for thwarting the antics of some dare devil smugglers who used different methods to deceive the service, further charged his officers to be professional and diligent in performing their statutory responsibilities in the year 2018; most especially in the area of anti-smuggling operations by making sure all revenue linkages were blocked.
He enjoined all hands to be on deck in the fight against these economic saboteurs who mean no good for the economy. He added that smuggling is a global phenomenon, which cannot be curbed entirely but can be brought to its barest minimum.
He thanked all security and sister agencies (Nigerian Army, Nigeria Police, NDLEA,NAFDAC, SON,) that rendered logistics support and cooperation towards winning the war against smuggling within the southwest zone.
The FOU boss further warned all would be smugglers and their accomplices to desist from such illegality and invest their money in legitimate business, as the Unit has devised other operational modalities that give them a run for their money and count their losses, if not jailed.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the Federal Government policy banning the importation of Vehicles and Rice through the land borders is still in force and we are ever ready and equipped to enforce these polices to the latter” he said.
While thanking members of the forth estate of the realm for their support and reportage in 2017, he called for their continuous partnership with NCS.