The Nigeria Customs Service, Seme Border Area Command, Wednesday, said it had intercepted contraband with duty paid value of N409, 851,533 since the reopening of the border.
The Customs Area Controller (CAC) of the Command, Comptroller Bello Jibo, disclosed this at a news conference at ECOWAS Joint Border Post, Seme-Krake.
He said that the banned substances, smuggled into Nigeria through the border, included 232 wraps of cannabis sativa, 98 used vehicles, 5,568 bags of rice and two sacks of condom.
Jibo said that the contraband were smuggled in within the period from Dec.17th, when the Federal Government announced the reopening of four land borders to date.
He said that officers of the command had taken full advantage of renewed strategies to intensify the fight against smuggling.
“This has led to remarkable interception of 705 items, the duty paid value of the seized items is N409, 851,533 only.
“The breakdown of the seized items is, 5,568 bags of 50kg foreign rice, 3,208 Jerry cans of petrol, 98 used vehicles, 294 cartons of frozen poultry products and 232 parcels of cannabis sativa.
“Others are 798 cartons of tomato paste, three cartons of sugar, six cartons of slippers, 305 pairs of used shoes, 30 cartons of Nescafe, and 19 cartons of non-alcoholic wine.
“We also seized 10 cartons of cigarettes, 12 cartons of herbal soap and two sacks of condoms,” he said.
The Comptroller said that the achievement was an indication that men and officers of the command are not losing its guard in detecting and stemming the tide of nefarious activities perpetrated by daredevil smugglers.
He said that with the reopening of land borders, the command had harnessed all revenue components in line with the new operational guidelines.
The controllers disclosed that the command had recorded trade volume of 348,827,775 metric tons of exported goods with Free on Board (FOB) value of N4, 277,047,153 only.
According to Jibo, the Nigerian Export Supervision Scheme value stood at N21, 384,443.
“The overall revenue remitted into the Federation accounts is N80, 774,807 during the period under review, while the grand total for both seizure and revenue is N490, 626,431 only,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Controller handed over the 232 parcels of cannabis sativa to the officials of Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in Seme.
Shortly before handing over the cannabis, Jibo said it was intercepted along the beach area of the border.
He disclosed that the smugglers were using speed boats to convey the drugs into the country through the waterways when they were intercepted.
Jibo said the command would ensure that they get rid of drugs coming illegally into the country.
Commenting shortly after the handover of the cannabis, Mr Essein Udotong, the Commander, NDLEA, Seme Command, said the country would overcome its security challenges if security operatives cooperate with one another.
He hailed the operatives of the Seme Customs Area command for intercepting the substance.
The commander said the drugs had the ability to cause much damage to smokers if not seized.
Udotong said that the agency would carry out further investigation to find out those involved in smuggling cannabis into the country.
“The cannabis has been handed over to us and we will look for the owners; the present NDLEA has what it takes to arrest the people behind the illicit drug,” he said.
Hameed Ali, Customs boss, in last minute frenzied promotion, reshuffle of officers
In the new posting, Comptroller Auwal Mohammed was moved from Port Harcourt Area 2 command to head Apapa Command vacated by the revenue czar in the service, ACG Malanta Ibrahim Yusuf.
Others include Compt OA Salefu who now heads Western Marine Command Lagos, Compt AM Ibrahim heads PTML Terminal Lagos and Compt M.S Yusuf superintendents over the Muritala Muhammed Airport command in Lagos.
Compt CD Wada goes to Port Harcourt Area1 command as its Area Controller, while M.I Jalo heads Federal Operations Unit Zone B while B . Mohammed heads Lillypond command in Lagos.
The promotions and reshuffle of officers have however elicited mixed reactions among the Customs officers.
For those who benefited from the parting gift of Hammed Ali, it was a welcome development, but for those who hold the short end of the stick in the exercise, it left a sour taste in their mouth.
ACG Yusuf allays fears of possible revenue dip in Apapa Customs
A breakdown of the appointment is as follows; EI Edorhe DCG Finance, Admin & Technical Service; HK Gummi DCG Tariff and Trade; M Abba-Kura Ag. DCG Enforcement, Inspection & Investigation; AG Saidu Ag. DCG Human Resource Development; JP Ajoku Ag. DCG Excise, Free Trade Zone & Industrial Incentives; BA Adeniyi Ag. DCG Strategic Research and Policy and GA Itotoh Ag. DCG Training and Doctrine Command.
Others are: O Peters Ag. ACG/Zonal Coordinator Zone ‘D’; AI Alfa Ag. ACG Strategic Research and Policy; HJ Swomen Ag. ACG Excise, Free Trade Zone & Industrial Incentives; KC Egwuh Ag. ACG Training and Doctrine Command; MBA Musa Ag. ACG Tariff and Trade; A Dappa-Williams Ag. ACG Enforcement Inspection & Investigation and BM Jibo Ag. ACG Headquarters.
Also appointed are: A Hamisu Ag. ACG/Commandant Nigeria Customs Command & Staff College; Y Salihu Ag. ACG Finance & Admin; MI Yusuf Ag. ACG ICT/Modernization; SA Bomai Ag. ACG Board; CK Niagwan Ag. ACG Finance, Admin & Technical Services and KI Adeola Ag. ACG Training and Doctrine Command.
While thanking the retired members of the management for their meritorious service and support, the Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd) CFR congratulated the newly appointed officers and charged them to redouble their efforts in ensuring the Service achieves greater heights in its mandates of revenue generation, suppression of smuggling and trade facilitation.
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