… As NCS reduces smuggling by 35 per cent in Kebbi***
The Nigeria Customs Service, Kwara Area Command, has generated N9.85 billion from January to December 2021 as revenue.
The Area Controller, Hussaini Bello, disclosed this at a news conference on Wednesday in Ilorin.
Bello said that the revenue generated surpassed that of the year 2020, with N2,942,090,047.
“Under my leadership as the pioneer Customs Area Controller in Kwara, we have witnessed tremendous increment in our revenue.
“From July 2019 to December 2021 (29 months), the command generated and remitted the sum of N19,159, 240,134 to the federation account,” he said.
Bello said that a large seizure of ammunition, packaged in 25 packs of 25 rounds each and contained in 14 cartons, worth N1,444,000, was part of the seizures.
He said that the seizure was made around the Bukuro axis of the command.
“Based on intelligence report, the command intercepted a Peugeot 504 vehicle, with registration number; AP 448 AKD.
“On searching the vehicle, we discovered a large number of pump-action cartridges, suspected to be smuggled into the country.
“Section 149 of Customs and Exercise Management Act (CEMA) of April 1958, Cap 45 LFN 2004 (as amended), gives Customs officers power to search vehicles and ships,” he said.
The area controller said that with the insecurity in the country if the 3,620 rounds of live ammunition escaped into the country and fall into wrong hands, the result would have been disastrous,” he said.
Bello said that in spite of resistance, threats and confrontations with stones and other dangerous weapons by the perpetrators of the criminal act, officers were able to evacuate 402 bags of foreign rice.
He said that continuous attack on the officers would not deter them from performing their duties and warned perpetrators to desist, as any method used would be uncovered.
In the same vein, the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) said on Wednesday that it had reduced smuggling in Kebbi by 35 per cent last year, when compared with similar activities in 2020.
Area Controller of the Service in the state, Mr. Hafiz Kalla, who stated this in Birnin Kebbi while briefing newsmen, attributed this feat to strategies put in place by the command.
“While the Command made a total number of 234 seizures in the year 2020, the frequency of smuggling recorded in 2021 was 154, which suggests a 35 per cent decline in the rate of smuggling.
“Similarly, the quantity of recorded foreign parboiled rice smuggled into the State compared with the year 2020 had plummeted by 20 per cent in 2021.
“A cursory look at our seizure records for the year ended when juxtaposed with the year 2020, shows a sharp decline in the frequency of smuggling and the items smuggled”, he said.
Kalla said that the command had seized over 154 assorted items valued at N118.9 million its effort to check smuggling activities in 2021 in the state.
“Our activities last year mainly focused on suppression of smuggling, which culminated in 154 seizures of assorted items valued at N118.9 million.
The Controller called on relevant stakeholders to continue collaborating with the Service by supplying useful information that would help check activities of smugglers.