By Godfrey Bivbere
THE Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Operations Unit, Zone ‘A’ Lagos in the months of January and February through its anti-smuggling operations, have realised about N1.3 billion, even as it intercepted various contraband and other goods with Duty Paid Value, DPV, of over N713 million.
The unit through its interventions recovered N650.3 million from duty payments and demand notices on general goods that tried to beat the system from seaports, airport and border stations in the guise of false declaration, transfer of value, and shortchange in duty payment. These yielded N1.4 billion into the federation account in the two months under review.
A statement signed by the Public Relations Officer of the Unit, Jerry Attah, and made available to Vanguard showed that 197 different seizures were recorded comprising foreign parboiled rice, frozen poultry products, vegetable oil, smuggled vehicles, Indian hemp, arms, fake pharmaceutical/medicaments and various general merchandise.
A breakdown of the seized items showed that 23000 bags of 50kg of foreign parboiled rice with a DPV of N149.5 million is still under seal in an unnamed warehouse in Lagos awaiting relevant importation document for further action. He also stated that Demand Notices, DN, of over N100 million has been issued to two auto dealers/assemblers under customs seal awaiting payment for infractions on their import transactions, while some are still undergoing court trials.
The Unit’s image maker also noted that over 16 x 40 footer containers under detention are on thorough investigation and appropriate DN would be raised and seizures effected where applicable. He further noted that following the tactical operation and successful evacuation, that later led to protests and breakdown of law and order by some angry traders, the Controller Federal Operations Unit Zone ‘A’ Comptroller Haruna Mamudu has further challenged those who might have genuine importation document from the seaport to come forward for their claims rather than breaching the law of the Land.