Bello- Koko, who spoke then during an interactive session organized by the House of Representatives Committee on Customs, had asked the Service to auction the overtime containers to decongest the nation’s seaports.
Cargoes are classified as overtime when they have stayed in the port for 28 days without the importer or clearing agent coming up to clear them and take delivery.
Comptroller Malanta explained that there are also laid down procedures for disposal of overtime cargoes that must be followed before they are auctioned to avoid litigation.
“Moving containers to Ikorodu terminal entails a lot of logistics and financial commitment.
“Customs will make sure that they receive unclaimed cargo lists from the shipping companies and the terminal operators, then they will now examine those unclaimed cargo lists after the free storage period.
“After the auction, people will now go online to bid for the items. In most cases, those consignments that will find out that they are going to be outrightly seized and they are consumables, we give them to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) through a presidential committee, not even Customs.
Meanwhile, Controller Malanta said the command generated over N87billion in the month of September adding that the command hopes to collect up to N100billion by year-end.
He attributed the revenue increase to measures instituted by the command when he assumed office nine months ago and increased the level of compliance by importers and their agents.
Part of the measures, according to him, is the deployment of officers with a high level of integrity to strategic units of the command and blocking of revenue loopholes.
He said, “When we come on board, we look at the structures on the ground, the type of officers we should post, and where you will post them. I know 80 percent of the officers either through interaction or through fora so I make sure that the officer I put in a place is an officer that has a high level of integrity. So, with that high level of integrity, I am sure, he would perform his work diligently. Then I tried to strategize based on that and look at the gap to identify loopholes and areas we need to amend.
“We started with the forensic manifest management system where we trail declaration through the manifest and we make sure that illicit importations are sieved out and those who want to circumvent through under-declaration of quantity, under declaration in terms of rate of duty through HS Code are also being tracked and revenue is recovered back with the penalty to serve as a deterrent.
“When they (importers/agents) saw that there was no hidden place, that is when I started getting compliance. So, with the compliance level I get, which has increased by over 40 percent, the more the revenue is also increasing.
“We also transform the challenges of the gridlock into opportunities through the use of barges to move containers and the use of the standard gauge line that is coming up has relieved the system of about 30 percent of containers going out of the port and that means the supply chain is moving.
Comptroller Malanta added that export through the Apapa port has also increased by over 25 percent within the review period.
Customs gives importers of improperly imported vehicles soft landing
The giant stride of Comptroller Kolade as anti-smuggling czar
One year after Comptroller Kayode Kolade assumed office on the 25th January 2023 at the Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone C of the Nigeria Customs Service, it has not been business as usual for economic saboteurs who ply the Eastern region to perpetuate their enterprise.
The FOU Zone C in Port Harcourt is the South East and South South Region including Bayelsa, Port Harcourt 1 and 2, Edo, Delta, Cross River and Akwa Ibom.
Compt Kolade was enlisted into the Superintendent Cadre of the Nigeria Customs Service in 1989, making tremendous progress by rising recently to the rank of Comptroller of Customs in 2024.
He has worked in various Customs Formations in different capacities.
To mention but just a few, he was DC in charge of the SIFAX bonded terminal in Apapa Port, he was D/C B1 Tincan Island Port, a position he occupied before he got appointed as the Acting Comptroller, Federal Operations Unit Zone C Owerri-based on his track records in revenue and anti-smuggling exploits.
He was also the Coordinator of, the Joint Border Patrol Team, Code-named: Border Drill Sector 1 Port Harcourt in 2018. Earlier in his career path, he has worked at Seme Border, KLT, FOU A and Headquarters respectively
Kayode Kolade was appointed to pilot the affairs of the Federal Operations Unit Zone ‘C’ Owerri since January 2023 where his giant record speaks volumes.
Under the cerebral anti-smuggling czar, the Federal Operations Unit FOU, Zone “C” seized goods worth over N 5 billion in the total Duty Paid Value (DPV) category in the 2023 fiscal year.
Some of the items seized were pangolin scales, foreign parboiled rice, cannabis sativa (AKA Indian hemp), fake pharmaceutical products, tramadol, used vehicles, used tyres, used clothing and explosive raw materials among others.
As a result of the interventions of officers of the zone under Comptroller Kolade’s watch in checkmating the activities of fraudulent agents at the seaports, lots of revenues, hitherto lost, amounting to over N152 million were recovered.
Within the first three months of his resumption at Zone C, Comptroller Kolade dealt the first blow on smugglers with the interception of contraband goods valued at N2.8 billion between January 25 and March 25.
The seized items include five sacks of pangolin scales, 398 sacks of Indian hemp, weighing 8,756kg and another 2,308 compressed parcels of Indian hemp of 1kg each.
The five sacks of pangolin scales weighing 413.1kg and the 11,064kg of Indian hemp are the highest if not arguably the first seizure of such endangered species and hard drugs in the history of the zone.
Other seizures were 2,600 bottles of codeine-based cough syrup packed in 26 cartons, three exotic bulletproof vehicles, 931 jumbo bales of second-hand clothing and 484 bags of smuggled rice.
Also intercepted were 31 cartons of various medicaments including tramadol; 32 jerry cans of petrol and 540 pieces of used tyres.
Between July 25 and September 23, 2023, the FOU Zone C dealt another major blow on smugglers with the interception of cannabis sativa, raw materials for the production of explosive devices, as well as other contraband with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N1.6 billion.The Zone also arrested nine suspects in connection with the seizures.
Eagle-eyed officers of the command also intercepted nine sacks of 50kg each of explosive materials namely fertilizer, device cables and superpower chemicals.
The Superpower 90 which was intercepted by the unit is designed for priming applications and as a column explosive in surface and underground mining and general blasting
Other items seized include 1,329 bags of 50kg smuggled foreign rice; 417 sacks of cannabis sativa weighing 9,194kg and 627 compressed parcels of the same substance totaling 627kg.
Also impounded are one unit of an armored bullion van, 761 jumbo bales of second-hand clothing, and 883 cartons of various.
unregistered/expired medicaments, 192 packets of 225mg of tramadol, 100 cartons of wine, 5,737 pieces of used pneumatic tyres and 335 cartons of smuggled foreign tomato paste.
Meanwhile, freight forwarders operating in the maritime sector have commended the sagacity of Comptroller Kayode Kolade as a disciplined officer and a fine gentleman.
He has attended many courses as Nigeria Customs representative both locally and internationally, worthy of mention includes: INDIA trip courses on enforcement of Government Fiscal policy and Revenue, among others.
He is a recipient of many Awards in recognition of his outstanding achievements.
The most cherished is the commendation letter for outstanding performance in anti-smuggling operations from the former Comptroller General of Customs Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd) in 2017 while he was the coordinator of CGC Strike Force Team Zone ‘C’ covering the South-South/South-East States.
He also received a lot of Merit Awards as Best Enforcement Officer at the various Customs formations where he worked from the media, too numerous to mention.
Customs suspends officer, hands over to Police over alleged collection of N.5 million bribe from car buyer
The Eyewitness Reporter
He added that “The Comptroller General of Customs Bashir Adewale Adeniyi and his Management team frowned at such unruly behavior as such, the disciplinary committee will be diligent and firm.
Comptroller Chedi thereafter handed over the suspected Officer to the APM Customs Police Unit for further investigation.
“This unprofessional and ungodly act will not be condoned. A thorough investigation has just commenced,” concluded the irate Comptroller.
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