By Raji Rasak
Badagry – The Nigeria Customs Service, Seme Area Command, Lagos State, said on Monday that it generated over N1billion revenue between August and September.
The Customs Public Relations Officer (CPRO) of the command, Mr Saidu Abdullahi, disclosed this in a statement in Lagos.
He said that the Anti-Smuggling unit of the command also made a total of 120 seizures with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N95 million for the months under review.
Abdullahi said that the enforcement unit recorded 14 vehicles comprising BMW five series, Toyota Venza, Mercedes Benz ML 350, Lexus RX, with a total duty paid value of over N70 million.
“A total of 4, 504 bags of par-boiled rice were also seized with DPV of N81.1 million; this is equivalent to seven trailer truck loads.
“Other items like frozen poultry products, vegetable oil and sugar worth over N13 million were also seized.
“Three suspects arrested in connection with some of the seizures are currently under investigation for possible prosecution.
He quoted the Customs Area Comptroller (CAC), Mohammed Garba, as saying the command was re-strategising by deploying a proactive anti-smuggling approach to enforce the Federal Government policies that would boost revenue generation.
“Garba charged officers to complement the Comptroller General of Customs’ effort by adhering strictly to procedures in order to achieve the core mandate of raising revenue,” he stated.
Abdullahi said the CAC and Chairman, Joint Border Security Meeting (JBSM), informed all the relevant border security agencies about the need to comply with the presidential directives on ease of doing business.
“Garba also urged them to adhere strictly to the ECOWAS protocols of eliminating trade barriers along the Lagos-Abidjan corridor.
“Consequently, he affirmed the setting up of an ad-hoc Joint Task Force from the JBSM platform to be headed by the Commanding Officer 243 Battalion.
“This will serve as some internal monitoring mechanism to checkmate the menace of proliferation of checkpoints along the corridor.
“He advised the security heads to be decisive in taking actions that will facilitate legitimate trade viz-a-viz the ease of doing business in order to enhance the growth of the Nigerian economy.
“The CAC also said that the reinvigorated anti-smuggling unit of the command was yielding positive results as drug traffickers and immigrants who used illegal routes were being apprehended,” he stated.
Abdullahi said the command handed over to the police two armed robbery suspects and one suspected drug pusher to the NDLEA on Aug. 24 and Sept. 14 respectively for investigation and prosecution.
He said the command had warned smugglers and non-compliant stakeholders to abide by the new social order of the service, adding that the anti-smuggling war would soon be at their doorsteps.