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NDLEA commends Apapa Customs over consistent seizures of narcotic drugs.


—–as command hands over N6 billion worth of  Tramadol to NDLEA
Eyewitness reporter
The resourcefulness and gallantry of the men and officers of the Apapa Command of the Nigeria Customs Service have caught the attention of the Chairman of the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA)   Brigadier General Buba Marwa(rtd) who has commended the consistency and tenacity of the command in intercepting banned drugs at the Apapa port.
The commendation came on the heel of the incessant interdiction of narcotic drugs by the Apapa Customs command, especially the fresh 150 cartons of Tramadol which were handed over to the Apapa Command of the NDLEA  by Comptroller Ibrahim Malanta Yusuf, the Area Controller of the Apapa Customs command this Friday.
 In a brief handover ceremony at the Enforcement Unit of the command, Comptroller Yusuf handed over 150 cartons of Tramadol concealed in clothing materials inside the 1x 20ft container with No PCIU 018324.
According to the Customs Chief, the banned drugs which came from Pakistan, were made up of 81 Cartons of 250 mg and 69 Cartons of 225mg of Tramadol tablets.
“Each Carton contains 72 rolls, each roll contains 10 packs, each pack contains 10 sachets and each sachet contains 10 tablets, totaling 150 cartons of Tramadol” Comptroller Yusuf declared.
One suspect was arrested in connection with the seizure and was also handed over to the NDLEA.
A visibly impressed Commander of Narcotics at the Apapa Special Area Command of the NDLEA, Commander Amen Inalegwu, who delivered General Marwa’s appreciation and commendation,  said the NDLEA Chairman,  Brigadier General Marwa(rtd,) has been following a series of seizures made by the Apapa Customs and was highly impressed.
The Narcotics Commander further revealed that General Marwa is currently working to escalate the spectacular performance of Comptroller Yusuf to the higher authority with a view to recommending him for national honour.
“This is Apapa spirit”, Commander Inalegwu blurted out while taking delivery of the drugs from the Apapa Customs helmsman.
“My Chairman (Marwa) is very, very proud and appreciative of you and is ready to project and commend any officer of the security agencies that we partner as NDLEA.
“I want to commend my brother and my friend, the CAC Apapa, that my Chairman (Marwa) is very proud of you.
“When I had the opportunity to put the report before him(Marwa), he assured me of the length that he would go to ensure that you(Comptroller Yusuf) is commended.
“And I am sure it is on the way if it has not come” the NDLEA commander declared.
He admonished other Customs formations in the country to emulate the worthy example of Apapa Customs command.
“The Apapa Customs example is worthy of emulation.
“I called on all customs formations to imbibe the spirit that is ongoing in Apapa.
“There is a strong synergy between Apapa Customs and the NDLEA”, he noted.
Commander Inalegwu disclosed that the street value of one carton of the seized  Tramadol is about N20 million while the estimated value of the whole 150 cartons would not be less than N6 billion.
Comptroller Yusuf warned those who deal in these illicit drugs to steer clear of Apapa Command as the place would not be a safe haven for them.
He disclosed that with robust inter-agency collaboration and synergy between the command and other security agencies as well as what he described as a forensic management system,  the eagle-eyed men and officers of the command will fish them and their illicit consignment out for extermination.
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National Assembly summons Customs, CBN, Finance Ministry, Webb Fontaine over unutilised scanners at ports

The Eyewitness reporter
The joint committee on Customs and Excise of the National Assembly has summoned the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Col.(retd) Hameed Ali to appear before it to explain the controversial contract for the provision of scanning machines at the ports and why they have not been functional despite enormous resources committed into their procurement.
To join the Customs boss for questioning are the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Mr Godwin Emefiele, and the Minister of Finance,  Mrs Zainab Ahmed as well as the officials of Webb Fontaine, the IT providers.
The apparently angry members of the joint committee, who gave the directive during their investigative hearing on Sunday in Abuja, said they were miffed by the non-utilization of the scanners procured at huge costs by the federal government.
According to Francis Alimikhena, the Joint Committee Chairman, the national assembly will not brood absenteeism or representations from those summoned as the matter is of utmost economic importance to the country.
“We do not want to see any representation. We want to take a decision about Nigeria. This is about the revenue of the country.”

“We want to see the minister, the CG customs, the CBN governor, President of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF),” declared the committee chairman.

“We do not want to see any representation. We want to take a decision about Nigeria. This is about the revenue of the country. Webb Fontaine is essential in this matter. They have made serious money in this country.”

Mr Alimikhena said the contract was given to Webb Fontaine by the Finance Ministry to provide the IT infrastructure for the NCS for scanning.

Not happy with the development, he frowned upon the absence of the Minister, the CBN governor and other stakeholders involved at the Sunday investigative hearing.

He however asked that the customs, CBN, ministry of finance, Webb Fontaine and other invited stakeholders to appear before the committee at the next hearing slated for Thursday, September 29th, 2022, warning that the committee would not attend to any representatives as the issue at stake involved revenue generation to the country.

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Customs collects N1.7trn  revenue in 8 months

CGC, Ali


–embarks on aggressive revenue hunts to meet target

The Eyewitness reporter

The Nigeria Customs Service has collected a whooping sum of  N1,755,386,486,390.02  as revenue in the first eight months of the year spanning January and August.

The service made the highest monthly earnings of N241,903,781,854.46 in August as the service intensifies its aggressive revenue drive to meet the expectations of the Federal Government which has come to rely on the revenue from the service to fund its critical project.

This follows the diversification of government to non-oil sectors and expands its tax base due to the dwindling revenue from the oil sector.
The revenue in the first eight months of 2022 is N363,436,321,614.95 higher than N1,391,950,164,775.97 the customs collected in the corresponding period of 2021.

Abuja has increased its focus on non-oil revenue sources, prompting higher expectations from revenue collection agencies such as the NCS, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), among others.

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Why we adopted direct auction sale for scrap vehicles—-Customs

seized vehicles waiting to be auctioned


The Eyewitness reporter
The Nigeria Customs Service has explained the reason why it recently disposed of scrap vehicles under its control through the direct auction sale method.
In an exclusive interview with our reporter, the National Public Relations Officer (NPRO) of the Service, Deputy Comptroller Timi Bomodi, explained that no sane person could purchase those damaged vehicles for use except those who melt them into metal as raw materials.
” Yes, the vehicles we auctioned through direct sales were all scraps. They are vehicles used by smugglers which are purposely built for their nefarious activities.
“These vehicles are damaged beyond repairs and the service could not upload such vehicles on its auction portal to the general public.
“That was why we sold them directly at very ridiculously low prices to iron smelting companies who will melt them into iron.
“These vehicles litter all our commands in the country and are constituting an environmental nuisance.
“So we needed to evacuate them from those places for the safety of our officers who are constantly being faced with the danger of attacks from snakes and other dangerous reptiles which hide under the cover of these scrap vehicles”, Bomodi declared.
He said his explanation was meant to clarify what he described as false information and misconception being peddled to the public by auctioneers.
The auctioneers have accused the Customs of branding about 6000 seized vehicles as scraps before selling them off at cheap prices to their cronies.
The aggrieved auctioneers have further claimed that the Customs conducted the auction of the vehicles without open competitive bidding as it’s enshrined in the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) Act, 2007.
“So far, about 6,000 vehicles have been sold to their cronies through the so-called direct auction allocation.
“The vehicles, which could have fetched the government huge revenue, were sold as scraps at giveaway prices.

“We all know that it is a ploy to enrich their favoured contractors at the expense of the government.

” The government is being denied the revenue it would have realised from open competitive auctions.
” If this government is serious, the Comptroller-General of Customs, Hameed Ali should be answering tough questions from either the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) or the National Assembly by now,” the Auctioneers claimed.
They further alleged that instead of selling the confiscated goods through public auctions as mandated by the law, the NCS had been selecting the dealers it sells to.
“What the BPP Act says
Section 55 (3) (5) of the BPP Act stipulates that open competitive bidding shall be the primary source of receiving offers for the purchase of any public property offered for sale.
“For the purposes of this Act, public property is defined as resources in the form of tangible and non-tangible assets (ranging from serviceable to the unserviceable).

“According to a letter from the NCS to a company, AMEX West Africa Limited and dated March 25, 2022, with reference number: NCS/ADM/MGT/012/S.2/C, signed by the Chairman, Direct Disposal of Scraps Committee, Comptroller A.D Sanusi, titled, ‘Direct auction allocation of scrap vehicles and other items,’ it was indicated therein that 338 vehicles were sold for N3,380,000 through direct auction allocation in Abuja.
It read, ‘’I am directed to inform you that the Comptroller-General of Customs, acting on the provisions of Customs and Exercise Management (Disposal of goods) Act, CAP C46, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, hereby allocates the under-listed 338 lots of various scrap vehicles domiciled at Katsina State Area Command to your company as auction sales for the purpose of disposal, smelting and fabrication into raw materials for production valued at N3,380,000 only.

“All vehicles disposed of must be evacuated from the premises within 10 working days after payment or risk forfeiture.

” Furthermore, you are to note the following: Application for replacement of allocated vehicles would not be entertained. All allocation letters transferred or sold by the allottee to a third party shall be at the buyer’s risk.’’
However, Bomodi stated that the auctioneers were only being mischievous and clever by half in their claims as the vehicles auctioned through the direct disposal method were actually scraps and not branded as such.
He disclosed that Customs still conducts open bidding auction exercises on its auction portal.
“The last time we conducted the auction of serviceable vehicles on our portal was early this year and another round of the exercise will soon be conducted” he disclosed.

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