Nigeria Customs Service Reels Out Anti-smuggling Achievements

By Chris Udochukwu

The Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Operations Units Zone ‘B’, Kaduna, has declared its activities from January to February 16, 2024 on the Unit’s anti-smuggling accomplishments and seizures of numerous contraband items.

The Customs Comptroller, of the unit, Wada Chedi, revealed this during a media briefing held on 16 February , 2024 at Kangiwa House, Kaduna while reemphasising the Unit’s unshakable stand in the fight against smuggling.

According to him, during the period under review, the operatives of the Unit made several seizures worth One Billion, Nine Hundred and Seventy-Five Million, Six Hundred and Six Hundred and Fifty-Seven Thousand, Eight Hundred and Sixty-Five Naira and Ninety-Six Kobo (N1, 975,657,865.96 only Duty Paid Value). The 27 different items ranged from used foreign shoes, foreign parboiled rice, second-hand clothing, expired milk and juice powder, among others.

He also noted that the operatives of the unit intercepted one (1) truck conveying One Hundred and Seventy-Nine (179) Bags of Tiger Nuts (50kg each) based on intelligence along the Maigatari/Malamfatori/Birniwa axis of Jigawa State, on Wednesday, 24 January 2024 at about 10:00pm

Furthermore, the unit equally halted three (3) trucks along Gumel-Kano Road in Jigawa State on 3 February 2024. The seizure was made following information shared by the intelligence network of the NCS-Headquarters, Abuja on the suspicion that they were conveying prohibited items. Hundred per cent (100%) physical examination was carried out at the premises of Kano/Jigawa Command and the three (3) trucks were found to contain 5076 Cartons of Foreign soap, 703 bales of Foreign second-hand clothing, 925 cartons of macaroni, 320 bales of foreign textiles and 12 Jumbo sacks of foreign used shoes. He emphasized.

Compt. Wada Further highlighted that Following the incident, two (2) suspects were arrested and detained at the Kano/Jigawa Command in connection with the confiscations and they have been granted administrative bail pending the outcome of the ongoing investigation.

According to him, “the Officers of the unit while acting on reliable intelligence, on 11 February, 2024, along Tsafe-Funtua Road in Zamfara State, intercepted another one (1) truck on the suspicion of inappropriate importation. More inspection further disclosed the truck was conveying 75 cartons of expired foreign jolly juice powder and 8 sacks of foreign expired milk powder was dated to have expired since 2019, thus, unfit for human consumption and would have caused mayhem to consumers alongside the society in general if not intercepted by our operatives. The expired milk was concealed with sacks of dried hides & skin.” He explained.

Other major items confiscated within the period under review according to customs boss are 237 Bags of Foreign Parboiled Rice (50kg each), 1837 cartons of foreign spaghetti, macaroni and couscous, 1707 jerry cans of Premium Motor Spirits (PMS) 25litres each, 3459 cartons/sachets of Amoxicillin, Artesunate, 500 Mg, 35 cartons of flame lighters, 2089 cartons of foreign dates, 142 cartons of YES Cigarettes, 810 pieces of foreign used tyres, many vehicles deposited at various Customs formations in the Zone, among others.

According to information gathered during the briefing, the Foreign Dates and the Tiger-Nuts by their nature are edible and perishable goods, therefore, would be auctioned in line with the provisions of Paragraph 15 (b) of the Schedule of the Nigeria Customs Service Act No. 35, 2023.

Most importantly, Comptroller Wada Chedi highlighted that these unparalleled seizures were made due to the infringement of several sections of the Nigeria Customs Service Act 2023 and a breach of existent Presidential directives on border closure.

“These unprecedented seizures were made as a result of the contravention of several sections of NCS Act 2023 and breach of extant Presidential directives on border closure,” he stated.

Furthermore, Compt. Wada noted that irrespective of the grim economic situations the common people in the country go through, contraband carriers are adding to the suffering of the citizens by trafficking expired and unhealthy items that are detrimental to the health and general well-being of the people while assuring the Unit’s relentless efforts to overturn their activities.

“It is a fact that things are difficult for common men in this country. Despite this, smugglers are adding to the suffering of the citizens by smuggling these expired and unhealthy items that are injurious to the health and well-being of the people.

“The Unit is an enforcement arm of the Service that will continue to arrest situations that may harm the citizens of this Country. I want the general public to know that the personnel of the NCS are Nigerians, too and we share in their pains at this critical time. However, the unit’s operatives will not back down until the smugglers are out of business. We will not be tired in our twenty-four hours and seven days round the clock enforcement drive to suppress smuggling,” he reassured.

Comptroller Wada Chedi, while urging the general public to continuously be on the side of the NCS in combatting the menace of smuggling, noted the age-long problem is well-known to undermine the Federal Government goals for revenue generation and aims at compromising the health of well-meaning Nigerians alongside the general success to deliver on the renewed hope agenda of President Tinubu.

He appreciated the Comptroller-General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi (MFR) and his management for their morale-boosting leadership and encouragement to Officers and Men towards achieving their mandate.

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