…Records massive seizure of foreign rice, 33 vehicles
The Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, Ogun Area Command has raked over N799.6million revenue into the coffers of the Federal Government, in August, 2018, fiscal year. The N799.6million generated out of a monthly revenue target of N727.7million, shows excess of over N71million realised in the month under review.
The Command also made mind boggling seizures of 33 vehicles; 6,194 bags of foreign rice; 395kegs of vegetable oil; 1,954 pairs of second-hand shoes; seven bales of second-hand clothing, 45 cartons of smuggled poultry products, 340 gallons of petrol (25litres each), 150 cartons of red grape juice and five cartons of ribena currant juice, with total Duty Paid Value, DPV, of N382.2million, within the same month.
In the same vein, operatives of Ogun Command swiftly apprehended three suspects in connection with the seizures.
The Customs Area Controller, CAC, of Ogun Command, Comptroller Agbara Ojobo Michael, disclosed these to Journalists during a press conference at Idiroko, displaying the seized items in the open.
The CAC further revealed that the massive seizure of 6,194 bags of smuggled rice in just one month was outstanding in the history of Ogun Customs, even as he said that unpatriotic Nigerians, who are into illicit business of rice smuggling work in synergy with their partners in Republic of Benin to sabotage Nigeria’s economy.
He said, “We are taking the issue of rice smuggling personal because we want everyone to support government’s policy in local rice production, in order to enhance food security in the country. Smuggling of rice into Nigeria is not helping our economy. Infact, it is like creating jobs for other countries, to the detriment of our own economy. As such, we are battled-ready and must continue to frustrate illegal activities of rice smugglers to protect our local industries.”
On their strategies to sustain the tempo of anti-smuggling operations in a difficult terrain like Idiroko border with volatile environment, the CAC pointed out, “The top Customs Management has equipped us with necessary operational tools and we are working in collaboration with Nigerian Army, Police and other security agencies to check illicit trade at Idiroko in all ramifications”.
He enthused, “The Command equally participated in a joint operation, which led to seizure of large quantity of petrol at creeks within Ijoun axis.”
His assertion, “In a desirous effort to key into government’s policy on agriculture development in area of boosting rice production, the seizure of 6,194 bags of smuggled rice in August 2018, is the highest monthly seizure ever made by the Command since the inception of this policy. To further expatiate, tremendous seizure of 27,085 bags of rice has been made from January to August 2018, which exceeded 21,789 bags of rice seized from January to December 2017.
“Also, the Command has successfully handed over 11,057 bags of rice and other perishable goods to Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, in Borno State, through Nigerian Army Corps of transport and logistics, in line with headquarters directive.
“We commend the patriotic role of our sister agencies, traditional rulers, host communities for partnering with us in our quest to effectively perform our statutory functions in compliance with extant government policies”