By Godfrey Bivbere
EFFORT by the present government to resuscitate the economy through efficient fiscal policy implementation remains high and vibrant, despite that unscrupulous elements remain hell bent in thwarting all measures put in place to refloat the economy, the Customs Area Controller of Ogun Command, Comptroller Michael Agbara has disclosed.
Nevertheless this criminal sabotage, the government under President Muhammadu Buhari remains unrelenting in its bid to continue to foil, frustrate and deplete these criminals wall chest of funds and antics, the harder they come. To this end, the Ogun customs area command through renewed strategies has continued to achieve increased blockage of leakages of prohibited imported items and smugglings of other trade goods, adjudged to be in violation of import regulations.
A source close to the CAC`s office at Idiroko who declined to be mentioned in print, said flash points within the command has received greater policing that is believed to have blocked seizable offensive imports from coming in through neighboring states, especially the Idiroko axis in Ogun state where the command has also succeeded in intercepting on regular basis, smuggled items, even as the fight has continued to spread through its vast porous jungle.
He said “the single biggest threat to our economy today is smuggling. I can tell you that the kind of smuggling we are faced with is not just local; I suspect regional and international conspiracy because if you look at the whole scenario, custom is implementing government fiscal policies 100 percent. We collect revenue on all custom trade and intercept and seize contraband items and even customs trade goods that violate trade regulations”.
“Unfortunately we have some dubious and criminal elements who like to cut corners through smuggling, such smugglings that the society cannot even rationalize. For instance our latest high profile seizure was a 2018 model Range Rover Sport Jeep valued at #68million. Why will somebody buy a vehicle worth that amount and prefer to smuggle it through the bush? So customs is dealing with a sick and aberrant society”, he said.
Since May this year, quite a number of seizures, including rice, vegetable oil, contraband frozen poultry products, vehicles, clothing and other items have been made. Agbara has since arrival reinforced the commands operations units which function through a very robust, vibrant and professional enforcement unit that consist of equally integrity driven roving and patrol team, and through designated approved checkpoints.
On the enforcement squad of the command is the dreaded anti-smuggling wizard, CSC Abdullahi, on whose shoulder 91percent of the command cumulative seizures has rested, in the past couple of years.