Health and Safety Maritime

CONTRABAND: Customs intercepts kola nuts, others worth N38.5m in Katsina

Assembly Investigates Alleged Shooting by Customs Personnel in Jigawa
Written by Maritime First

… Intercepts illicit goods worth N126.5m in Bauchi***

… Generates over N104.7m in Katsina, following Border reopening***

Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Katsina area Command has intercepted kola nuts and other contrabands worth N38.5 million in the state from April 1 to date.

The Customs Area Controller in Katsina, Comp. Dalha Wada-Chedi made this while addressing newsmen on Thursday in Katsina.

Also read: SEME BORDER: Customs Reads Riot Act to Smugglers on illicit drugs, petroleum products movement

Dalha-Chedi said the seizure within the period mentioned, is far below the command’s previous anti-smuggling records.

He attributed the decline in the number of seizures to the reopening of the Jibia border, paving way for legitimate conduct of import and export transactions.

Wada-Chedi stated that other items seized include 715 bags of 50kg of rice worth over N18.7 million, 7 vehicles and eight motorcycles worth N8 million.

“We also seize foreign pasta worth N2.4 million, cartons of foreign milk worth N1.2 million, and kola nuts worth N1.1 million.

”Since the Jibia birder was reopened, we have been discharging all our statutory obligations,” he said.

In the same vein, Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone D Bauchi, intercepted contraband whose Duty Paid Value was put at N126.560m, from January to date.

The newsmen report that the Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone D, with headquarters in Bauchi, consists of Bauchi, Gombe, Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Taraba, Plateau and Nasarawa states.

Mr Adesanmi Omiye, Comptroller of the zone, made this known while displaying the seized goods before newsmen on Thursday in Bauchi.

He said the operatives of the unit, apart from blocking and suppressing smuggling within the zone, had made seizures of contraband.

“The unit’s concerted efforts in suppressing smuggling activities have continued to yield good results despite the insurgency in some parts of the zone.

“The Cumulative Duty Paid Value (DPV), of all the seizures, is N126,560,131.25K,” he said.

Omiye said that the goods include 605 bags of 50kgs foreign rice, 7 used vehicles, 54 bales of second-hand clothing, 215 cartons of foreign soap, and 42 cartons of spaghetti.

Others are 102 pieces of dried donkey skin, 69 sacks of used shoes, and 150 jerry cans of petroleum products, among others.

Omiye said, ”the action of our operatives is in line with the provision of section 8 and 158, the power to patrol freely of Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA), Cap C45 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004, as amended.

The Comptroller added that unprecedented seizures were achieved as a result of sharing of information, intelligence gathering and doggedness of the officers of the zone in making it unbearable for smugglers.

Omiye appealed to Nigerians to provide genuine information that could help in curbing the menace of smuggling in the zone and the country at large.

“Eradicating smuggling in this country will boost the economy, which will make the federal government to provide social amenities to the citizenry,” he said.

In the meantime, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) says it has generated over N104.7 million, since the reopening of the Jibia border in Katsina State on April 25, to date.

The Acting Controller of the NCS Command in Katsina, Mr Dalha Wada-Chedi, disclosed this while addressing newsmen on Wednesday in Katsina.

The newsmen recall that the Nigerian land borders were closed in August 2019, to checkmate smuggling activities, boost local production of rice and fight insecurity.

According to him, with the reopening of the borders, the command is expected to discharge its statutory obligations.

He noted that the obligations included the control of imports and exports, by adhering to customs procedures in the collection of revenue and other regulations.

“Consequently, the total sum of N104,735,547 was collected and paid into the Federal account within the period under review.

“Secondly, the volume of export through the Jibia border within the period is 4,000 metric tons of Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) worth N998,205,392 and also 1,000 metric tons of cement worth N32,292,830.

“The Nigeria Export Supervision Scheme Fees (NESS) for two exported items are as follows: LPG, N5.027,592; Cement N183,942,77 and the total NESS fees are N5,211,535.21,” he said.

According to him, going by the command’s previous anti-smuggling records, the period under review recorded a decline in the number of seizures, due to the reopening of the border.

“Other reasons include restrategized operation procedures on anti-smuggling activities by constant patrols, surveillance, intelligence gathering, and dissemination accordingly.

“We also had cooperation, collaboration, and synergy with security, government agencies at the border, and other stakeholders at the border communities, among other procedures.

“However, I wish to advise the business community to comply with all import and export guidelines for a seamless importation and exportation, through the reopened border.

“The business community should try to utilize the opportunity provided by the Federal Government such as ETLS and conversion of old intended informal exports into formal export procedures,” the acting controller said.

Wada-Chedi further stated that the renewal of old customs licence agencies and a call for reopening new agencies were part of the restrategized operation procedures.

“The remaining people that are still in the old system of smuggling should come forward and embrace the change for their personal, community, state, and country’s economic development.

“Our officers and men of the command are ready to hit the ground running in the quest to suppress smuggling and enhance revenue collection,” he said.

According to him, the command during the period under review has seized contraband worth more than  N38.7 million from May 1 to date.


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