Niger/Kogi Area Command of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) says it has seized 57 assorted vehicles, valued at about N238 million, in different parts of Kogi and Niger states.
The command also said that it collected about N50.8 million as internally-generated revenue (IGR) in September.
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The Comptroller of Customs in charge of the command, Mr Busayo Kadejo, disclosed this while addressing newsmen in Minna on Wednesday.
He said that the command was putting measures in place to step up security at the border posts to curtail illegal trade and prevent contraband from coming into the country.
The comptroller explained that the command would also carry out 100 per cent physical examination to prevent offensive goods from being smuggled into the country through the borders in the area.
He said that the command also discovered five illegal routes being exploited by smugglers in its area of supervision.
“We have deployed competent officers to manage our border posts to prevent smuggled goods from coming into our country.
“We also seized 21 bales of second-hand clothing, 90 bags of fertilizer, 2,900 liters of PMS (petrol) and 36 bags of foreign rice,” he said.
Kadejo further stated that already, the area command had issued an effective operational order to its field officers at the border posts on how to tackle the menace of smuggling.
He said that the command was also partnering with other security agencies in the state to ensure the arrest and prosecution of smugglers.
The comptroller expressed optimism that the security measures in place would prevent smuggling business in whatever form.
“We have also reached out to traditional rulers, especially those at the border posts to assist our field officers with reliable information on the movement of smugglers.
“We are battle ready to prevent all prohibited items from coming into our area of supervision through well-coordinated security approaches,” he said.
In another development, the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) on Wednesday solicited the support of the media to drive the repositioning of the non-oil export sector for improved performance.
The Executive Director/CEO of NEPC, Dr Ezra Yakusak, made the appeal at the media retreat for Commerce and Industry Correspondents of Nigeria (CICAN) in Abuja.
The retreat organised by NEPC is with the theme: “Diversifying the Economy: The Role of NEPC’’.
According to Yakusak, the retreat is being organised to deepen the knowledge and understanding of NEPC’s mandate as an agency responsible for the development and promotion of non-oil export.
“This mandate, as you are aware, is key to realising the economic objectives of the present administration which is targeted at diversifying the economy from a monolithic to a robust economy driven by the non-oil export sector.
“I wish to inform you that the NEPC is poised to build and sustain a mutual-beneficial relationship with our esteemed members of the fourth estate.
“ This is premised on the fact that as conveyors of information, the media has a critical role to play in not just promoting NEPC activities and programmes but also creating awareness on opportunities in the non-oil sector,’’ he said.
Yakusak said that the media has a crucial role to play in sensitising Nigerians on the need to embrace export as Nigeria’s means of survival as a nation.
“I am optimistic that through your incisive and analytical reports on happenings in the sector, NEPC is more than ever before determined to reposition the sector for better performance.
“Indeed, the power of the media cannot be over-emphasised.
“Put differently, the press has the power to inform, educate, entertain, act as a watchdog for society as well as set the agenda for national discourse.
“Therefore, as information and communication professionals, you have a great responsibility to set the agenda for national conversation towards issues that are critical to the well-being of the citizenry.
“And you will agree with me that what matters most presently is the need to promote the “Export4Survival” campaign,’’ Yakusak said.
He urged Nigerians to realise the urgency of engaging in non-oil export trade as a viable means of economic growth and poverty alleviation.
According to him, non-oil export trade has the potential to promote industrial development and boost foreign exchange earnings.
On her part, The Director, of Product Development, NEPC, Mrs Evelyn Obidike, emphasised on value addition on products and services essential in promoting non-oil exports.
“By the time value addition is achieved, not only that we gain premium price but we will be building a chain and in turn create jobs and generate wealth,’’ Obidike said.