By Godwin Oritse
THE Seme border Customs Command of the Nigeria Customs Service recorded a total of 372 seizuresÂ Â valued at over N541million in 2009 just as it realised over N109 million as duty from rice import through the command.
Disclosing this in Seme, Customs Area Comptroller of the Command, Mr Toba Alliu said that the government warehouse at Seme is filled to its brim as a result of the seizures.
Alliu also disclosed that government has also commenced moves to construct a bigger warehouse with a view to accommodating more seizure.
He stated that the tightening of the anti-smuggling noose necessitated the Beniniose Government to visit officials of the Nigeria Customs at its headquarters in Abuja to seek bilateral cooperation with Nigeria.
The Command boss also stated that the management of the NCS alsoÂ intimated their Beniniose counterparts to ensure that dutiable goods destined for Nigeria are properly channelled through approved border posts.
â€œOne of the gains of that bilateral co-operation was the request of the CG to his Beniniose counterpart to ensure that dutiable goods destined for Nigeria are properly channelled through approved border posts, which was granted.
â€œSubsequently, dutiable goods such as motor vehicles, rice etc are channelled under escort from Cotonou port to Seme border for proper clearance into Nigeria.
â€œIt is rewarding to note that the Command had generated huge revenue from the clearance of imported motor vehicles and rice since then, the revenue from these sources would have been lost to smugglers if the NCS had not reached an agreement with the Beniniose,â€ he added