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By James Ogunnaike, ABEOKUTA

The Controller Ogun 1 Area Command of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Bamdele Makinde on Tuesday disclosed that the youth restlessness that characterized the border closure has reduced drastically.

Makinde, who disclosed this at Idiroko, in the Ipokia Local Government Area of the state while giving stewardship of his command for April 2022, attributed the feat to the collaborative efforts between the agency, other security agencies and traditional rulers, particularly those of the host communities, stressing that both youths and the old are gradually embracing genuine means of doing business rather than engaging in smuggling activities while the border is reopened.

He said, “We are still at the skeletal stage of doing business with all our accredited Customs agents, but the modalities and documentations procedure is there for anybody who wants to know how to do legitimate businesses”.

“In terms of socio-economic effects, life is gradually coming back to the border areas. People that are ready for legal businesses are welcomed, but the restlessness among the youths is going down. The environment has changed, people are responding”.

Makinde, however, disclosed that a total number of 4, 603 bags of foreign parboiled rice each weighing 50kg, an equivalent of 8 trailer loads were intercepted during the past month of April 2022.

Putting the Duty Payable Value (DPV) of the seizure to worth N82, 821, 337, the NCS Controller listed other items intercepted to include: 300 cartons of poultry products, 89 cartons of foreign wine, 35 cartons and 12 packets of tomato paste, 37, 450 litters of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) popularly called petroleum, packed in 1, 498 kegs of 25 litters among others seizures.

According to Makinde, “During the period under review, the command generated the sum of Six Million and Forty-Eight Thousand, Five Hundred Naira, Zero Kobo (6,048,500.00) from auction sales of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) popularly known as petrol, intercepted at different locations and exit points to the Republic of Benin during our anti-smuggling operations. With the recently phased re-opening of additional four (4) Border Posts (including Idiroko Border Post), we are hopeful that our revenue collection will improve significantly”

“I am glad to inform you that the Command’s concerted efforts in suppression of smuggling activities have continued to yield good results”

“We can record a total seizure of 4,603 bags/50kg each of foreign parboiled rice (the equivalent of 8 trailer loads). It is important to note the huge damage this quantity of rice would have done to the Federal Government Rice Agricultural Policy if allowed to get into the Nigerian markets.”

Other seized items according to the Area Controller include 37,450 Litres of PMS (1,498 kegs of 25 litres each), 300 Cartons of Frozen Poultry Products, 3 Sacks of Cannabis Sativa, 900 Pieces of Machetes, 7 Bales and 7 Sacks of foreign used Clothing, including 2,195 Pieces of foreign used shoes, 1,020 Pieces/451 Pieces of New/Used Ladies’ Hand Bag, 89 Cartons of foreign Wine, 22 Cartons of Noni Berry Daily Drink, 8 Units of Vehicle (means of conveyance), 2 Units of Foreign Used Vehicle (Tokunbo), 2 Units of Motorcycle (means of conveyance) and 35 Cartons and 12 Packets of Tomatoes Paste.

In addition, the command also seized 19 gunboat engines worth over N17,311,419.00

Furthermore, Comptroller Makinde stated that the cumulative duty paid value (DPV) of all the seizures in April 2022 amounted to N100,132,756.00.

“I wish to re-instate here that our intelligence network in the Command is continuously strengthened for an improved and efficient performance. We deploy intelligence in virtually all our operations in the area and greater successes are being recorded daily.”

The CAC appreciated the support of the Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd), his management team, the officers and men of the Command and critical stakeholders, members of the media, other security agencies and traditional rulers for their collaborative efforts and synergy with the service while carrying out the statutory mandate in the state.

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