By Eguono Odjegba
THE Ogun State Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, has recorded a total of 549 contraband seizures in the first half of 2019, even as it raked in a total of N6.7 billion revenue within the same period. This is against the N2.6 billion made in the corresponding period of 2018, representing 174.45 per cent increase.
With the half-year revenue target of N3.9 billion, the command almost doubled its target.
In a chat with Vanguard Maritime Report, Agbara said the seizure of over 29, 905 bags of rice within the period under review demonstrated the Command’s resolve in supporting the Federal Government to achieve its local rice production policy, saying “it is up to us to support the FG policy initiative to grow local rice.
Creating jobs for foreigners
Any foreign rice we buy, we are indirectly creating jobs for the foreigners and helping to develop their economy at the expense of our own”.
He put the total Duty Paid Value, DPV, of the seizures at N1.2 billion.
According to him the seizures also include 197 vehicles, 1,466 kegs of vegetable oil, 17 motorcycles, 9,407new and 1,042 pairs of used shoes.
It also includes frozen poultry products telephones, Petrol, Cannabis Sativa, amongst others.
Agbara noted that their activities were carried out amid a series of clashes between his officers and some daredevil smugglers, leading to loss of lives and properties.
“The Command will continue to dialogue, engage, sensitize and educate the public on social, security, health and economic implication of smuggling, while on the other hand, the statutory functions of enforcing compliance with strict adherence to the law will be rigorously sustained”, he said.
He also claimed that there has been a noticeable reduction in smuggling activities within the area, since the beginning of the current fiscal year.
Agbara said despite the obvious reduction his operatives will not lower their guard in ensuring that the tempo is further sustained until smuggling is brought to the barest minimum.