By James Ogunnaike, Abeokuta

A trailer-load of maize imported from South Africa was among the contrabands intercepted by operatives of the Ogun Area 1 Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).

The Controller, Ogun Area 1 of Command of Nigeria Customs Service, Comptroller Bamidele Makinde, disclosed this while briefing newsmen on the half year  scorecard of the command held in Abeokuta, the state capital.

He said the maize was meant for popcorn production.

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Speaking on the activities of the command during the first half of the year, Makinde said the command generated a total of N29,940,146.50 from import duties and auction sales of premium motor spirit seized from smugglers.

On the anti-smuggling activities, the Controller said the command recorded a spectacular seizure of 25,906 bags of foreign parboiled rice of 50kilogram each.

He said if the seized quantity was allowed into Nigerian markets, it would be disastrous to the Federal Government policy on local rice production and the economy of the nation.

…more seizures

Other seizures recorded in the period under review included; 1433 cartoons of frozen poultry products, 72 units of used vehicles, 20 units of motorcycles used as means of conveyance, 1,400 packets, 2,250 sachets of tramadol and 168 packets of codeine.

Others are; 289 cartoons of tomato paste, 258 sacks and 661 wraps of cannabis sativa, 140 pieces of used tyres, 11,745 kegs of 25 litres of petrol, equivalent to nine tanker loads, 343 cartoons of foreign wine, 34 bales, 113 sacks and 36  Ghana-Must-Go bags of second hand clothes, 64 sacks and 2,218 pairs of used footwear, 328 cartoons, 320 sacks and 72 pairs of new footwear, 180 pieces of female hand bags, 375 bales, 925 pieces of textile and 900 pieces of matches.

Makinde said the cumulative duty paid value for the seizures amounted to N3,400,226,707.00.

While comparing the command performance under review with half year report of 2021, Makinde noted that there was significant increase in revenue collection and value of seizure recorded.

“The revenue generated from January to June last year was N15,261,074.00 compared to this year’s revenue of N29,940,146.50.

“Similarly, the estimated duty paid value of items seized this year, which is N3,400,226,707.00 is higher than that of last year record, which was N834,765,273.00. This is about 400% increase,” he said.

The Controller, who lamented an upsurge in smuggling activities for the period under review however, assured that his command would not renege in its efforts at dialogue, engaging and sensitizing with members of the public on the socio-economic implications of smuggling in the course of discharging their statutory functions of enforcing and facilitating genuine trade in the area.

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