Smugglers, Bandits Hindering Revenue Generation – Customs

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Officials of the Zone B, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has said their operations are being hindered by banditry and smuggling in the zone, which has affected the revenue generation.

The Acting Zonal Coordinator of Zone B, Aminu Abba disclosed this while receiving members of the House of Representatives Technical Committee on Customs and Excise, led by the Chairman of the Committee, Rep. Leke Abejide during an oversight tour on Monday.

He said one of their major problems was the activities of border Communities who see the fight against smuggling by the service as interfering with their legitimate business.

“These Communities see smuggling as their legitimate businesses and therefore are always ready to resist any attempt to suppress their activities by our officers.

“In the process, we have lost a number of our facilities such as vehicles, while some officers have also died in the line of duty.

He said the service was in dire need of fresh legislation as the laws currently guiding the operations of the Service are obsolete and not in conformity with international best practices.

The Controller, Katsina Command, Comptroller A.A Aremu said, the decline in revenue was largely due to bandits and smugglers activities which hinder their operations.

He said while the state has only 14 approved border routes in Katsina, there are over 300 unapproved routes being used by smugglers.

Chairman of the Technical Committee on Customs and Excise, Rep. Leke Abejide disclosed that the prolonged closure of Nigeria’s land borders has affected revenue generation by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).

He said they are also concerned with the dilapidated facilities and unfavourable working environment in most of the NCS formations in the zone.

The committee however lamented the poor performance of some of the state commands in the zone in revenue generation.

It expressed disappointment that Niger/Kogi command generated about N1.6 million in 2021 while Katsina Command revenue dropped sharply from about N3 billion in 2019 to a paltry N53m in 2020.