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Customs officers on red alert at Airports, seaports and border posts over indiscriminate importation of arms and ammunition.

—as another consignment of arms and ammunition  intercepted at Lagos Airport
—– finger Turkey-based Nigerian arms syndicate 
Funso Olojo 
The Nigeria Customs Service has placed its men and officers on red alert following yet another interception of a cache of arms and ammunition at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport.
Barely 48 hours after the Service unveiled a large consignment of 844 rifles and 112,500 rounds of ammunition it intercepted at the Onne Port, Port Harcourt on Monday, July 1st,2024 from Turkey,  it showcased another 55 pieces of unassembled Jojef Magnum (Tomahawk) semi-automatic gun at the Airport command of the Customs.
This was after the seizures of 18 pieces of guns, and 100 rounds of ammunition made at the Tin Can port on March 15th, 2024 and another interception of four pistols and 445 rounds of ammunition as well as several empty pistol magazines at the same port on January 25th, 2024.
Adewale Adeniyi, the Comptroller General of the service, who unveiled the illicit consignment to the press, sister agencies and other stakeholders disclosed that the last two separate consignments intercepted both at Onne Port and Lagos Airport bore the same semblance of origin as they were all from Turkey.
Saying this was more than a coincidence, Adeniyi revealed that the analysis of this and similar recent seizures indicates that some unscrupulous Nigerians based in Turkey are purchasing, packaging and exporting these illicit arms to Nigeria.
“Intelligence further revealed that they are exploring new frontiers to perpetrate their nefarious activities”
” Still, I can assure Nigerians that all our Commands are on red alert to intercept any such illicit arms importation” he revealed.
According to the CGC, the unassembled rifles were concealed using SHOWER FAUCET.
“The Duty Paid Value of these illicit arms is Two Hundred and Seventy Million, Eight Hundred and Eighty-Eight Thousand, One Hundred and Nine Naira and Twenty-Nine Kobo (N270, 888, 109.29)”
” A suspect is currently in our custody in connection with this illicit arms importation and is assisting with an ongoing investigation to uncover the perpetrators of this heinous crime” he disclosed.
Also seized and put on display are some Military and Paramilitary accoutrements improperly imported without end users’ certificates with Duty Paid Value (DPV) of One Billion, Two Hundred and Ninety-Eight Million, Nineteen Thousand, Two Hundred and Seventy-Six Naira and Ninety-One Kobo (N1,298,019,276.91) only.
The breakdown of these items is as follows: 148pcs of drones, 172 pieces of Ballistic Vests, 15 pieces of Ballistic plate, 1 piece of Ballistic Helmet and 8 pieces of Walkie Talkie.
Other seized items were 9,172 pieces of Military &Paramilitary Badges, 20 pieces of Camouflage uniform, 100 pieces of Camouflage Vests, 172 pieces of Camouflage caps and 120 pieces of Binoculars.
The total Duty Paid Value of all the displayed items is One Billion Five Hundred and Sixty-Eight Million Nine Hundred and Seven Thousand Three Hundred and Eighty-Six Naira and 48 Kobo (N1,568,907,386.48) only.
The CGC however disclosed that the Customs has put a surveillance on consignments from Turkey and will initiate a diplomatic discussion with the Turkish government over the random exportation of illicit items from the country by unscrupulous Nigerians with a view to bursting the syndicate.
Adeniyi however lauded the officers whose diligence, integrity and dedication to duty resulted in the remarkable seizure and promised that they would be adequately rewarded in a manner provided by the Nigeria Customs Service Act 2023.
Similarly, officers found culpable in the illicit consignment would be summarily sanctioned.
Meanwhile, the seized items had been handed over to the Coordinator of the National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons, under the office of the National Security Adviser, for diligent investigation and prosecution while the suspect arrested in connection with the illicit importation was equally handed over to the centre for further processing.
Adewale promised that the customs will work diligently with other Agencies of Government to apprehend all other parties to this illicit importation.
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Customs

Nnadi, Tin Can CAC, makes historic visit to MARAN to deepen mutual working relationship.

Funso Olojo 
Apparently acknowledging the pioneering status of the Maritime Reporters Association of Nigeria(MARAN) as a leading light in maritime journalism, Comptroller Dera Nnadi, the Area Controller of the Tin Can Command of the Nigeria Customs Service, storms the International Press Centre of the flagship maritime journalists group Friday, July 12th, 2024.
Nnadi’s visit to the Secretariat of MARAN on 13c Marine Road, Apapa is geared towards forging a strong bond and mutually beneficial working relationship between his command and MARAN.
MARAN hopes to, among other issues, engage the Controller of Tin Can Island Customs Command on the activities of the Command in boosting trade for the overall benefit of the nation.
Comptroller Nnadi has remained a dedicated officer of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) with visible impacts in various Commands he has presided over in the past.
He also has a shining antecedent as an articulated and astute public relations person when he held sway as a public relations officer of Apapa command as a middle-cadre officer before his deserving string of promotions and eventual elevation to his present enviable status as a command’s helmsman.
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Customs

House of Representatives beams searchlight on bonded terminals, free trade zones over influx of arms, ammunition into Nigeria

—as Customs realises N2.742 trillion in six months 
Funso Olojo 
Apparently alarmed by the avalanche of seizures of arms and ammunition made by the Nigeria Customs Service recently, the House Committee on Customs and Excise has vowed to scrutinize the operational activities of the country’s bonded terminals and free trade zones.
This decision was made in the belief that these facilities are being used as conduit pipes to smuggle these dangerous weapons into the country.
Revealing the move of the lawmakers on Wednesday, July 10th, 2024 while on an oversight visit to the Customs Headquarters, Abuja, the Chairman, House Committee on Customs and Excise, Hon. Leke Abejide, said the probe was aimed at identifying the complicit operators and eradicating their nefarious activities.
It would be recalled that the Customs, in quick succession, make seizures of large caches of arms and ammunition at Tin Can Port, Onne Port and Lagos ports, the quantity of which alarmed the Nigerian government.
While leading other members of the committee to the Customs headquarters, Abejide commended the vigilance, efficiency and dedication of men and officers of the customs for these seizures and their impressive record of revenue generation
 “We will scrutinise the activities of Bonded Terminals and the operations of the Free Trade Zones (FTZ) facilities across the country to identify and eradicate any illegal businesses and activities”, the lawmaker declared.
 Abejide applauded the outstanding revenue generation, trade facilitation and the Service’s recent achievements in the seizures of arms and ammunition in a Bonded Terminal in Onne Port, Rivers State.
The Chairman also commended a similar seizure made by the officers of NCS Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos  State, which, according to him, is a testament to Customs vigilance and effectiveness.
He observed that the seizures have potentially saved countless Nigerian lives, demonstrating the exceptional skills and dedication of NCS personnel in protecting the nation’s borders.
He urged the NCS officers not to relax, stating that “Every weapon and illicit item seized is a victory, but every attempt to smuggle them into Nigeria is a call to redouble our efforts.”
Responding, the Comptroller-General of Customs (CGC), Adewale Adeniyi, said the service is indeed grateful for such commendation, recognition, and applause from the House Committee on Customs and Excise.
The CGC stated that the presence of the House committee underscores the critical role that legislative oversight plays in ensuring the efficiency, transparency, and accountability of NCS operations and project implementation.
According to him, as committee members, their dedication to scrutinising and supporting NCS activities is invaluable.
 “The insight you bring into the oversight function and the guidance you have always provided helps Customs to serve the nation better, facilitate trade and secure the borders while collecting revenue, vital to the economy.”
‘’In all aspects of our work and projects, I want to assure you that we submit wholeheartedly to legislative compliance, and we will be willing to implement directive resolutions given to us in the day-to-day operation of the Nigeria Customs Service.
“Your feedback and recommendations are crucial to our efforts to streamline our processes to improve our efficiency and uphold the highest standard of integrity and services,” he stated.
Giving a breakdown of the success stories of the NCS, Caroline Niagwan, the Deputy Comptroller-General in charge of Tariff and Trade, said the service was able to generate 2.742trillion naira within the first half of 2024, surpassing the first half of the year’s expected revenue target of 2.539trillion naira, representing 54 percent of the revenue target for the year.
She said, “In the period under review, the average daily revenue collection has been N27.5 billion daily, surpassing the target of N19.460 billion
“The service has achieved a 126.64 percent increase within the first half of the year due to teamwork and measures put in place to block revenue leakages.
“We have an outstanding 2.168 trillion to collect.”
She noted that for the service to align with international best practices, trade facilitation tools have been upgraded to Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) Programs where reliable and compliant traders are rewarded for taking their goods with little or no customs control when they meet specific safety and security standards.
Also speaking, Deputy Comptroller-General in charge of Enforcement, Inspection and Investigation, Bello Jibo, revealed that ‘Operation Whirlwind’ had made a lot of seizures of petroleum products.
 He revealed that NCS is collaborating with the NNPC to achieve so much.
“On the issue of security, the CGC held a press conference in Onne, Port-Harcourt, where a container fully loaded with arms and ammunition was arrested by our officers, which was later handed over to the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA).
” We collaborate and exchange intelligence among ourselves to enhance our activities.’’ DCG Jibo stated.
Furthermore, the Assistant-Comptroller General in charge of Information and Communication Technology, Kikelomo Adeola, revealed that unit officers built the application for the e-auction.
She stated that capacity-building programs are ongoing as part of the deliverables of the Trade Modernization Project, in addition to the provision of software and hardware components of the exercise.
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Customs

Adeniyi, CGC, performs groundbreaking ceremony of 30-bed ultra-modern reference hospital in Bauchi

 Funso Olojo
The Comptroller-General of Customs (CGC), Adewale Adeniyi, on Monday, 8 July 2024, performs a groundbreaking ceremony for a 30-bed ultra-modern reference hospital donated by  Abdul Samad Rabiu (ASR) Initiative for Africa in Bauchi.
Speaking at the event, CGC Adewale Adeniyi expressed profound gratitude to the ASR Initiative for their generous contribution, emphasising the project’s significance in enhancing the welfare of customs officers and the local community.
“We are happy to be a recipient of this great project. It will immensely help our officers and the entire community,” he stated.
Dr. Ubong Udoh, CEO of the ASR Initiative for Africa, extended his appreciation to CGC Adeniyi for honouring his commitment by attending the ceremony.
He highlighted the enduring nature of the partnership between the ASR Initiative and the NCS, noting the limitless potential of their collaborative efforts.
“I believe the potential of what we can achieve as partners is limitless,” Dr. Udoh remarked.
Hon. Tanko Dutse, representing the local community, thanked the CGC for supporting the NCS office in Bauchi.
He acknowledged the office’s positive impact on security and other local issues.
“The community and state at large appreciate the presence of the NCS. This hospital will allow our people who lack the means to access other medical facilities to receive necessary healthcare.
“We appeal for more of such Corporate Social Responsibilities,” he said.
Architect Muktar Aliyu, the project manager,  assured attendees of the hospital’s potential to revolutionise healthcare services in the area.
 “This 30-bed ultra-modern hospital is a commitment to healthcare and the community’s future.
“Together, we can build a legacy of resilience and quality healthcare,” he stated.
The groundbreaking ceremony marks a significant milestone in the NCS’s efforts to enhance the welfare of its personnel and contribute to the community’s well-being, reflecting the strong partnership between the Nigeria Customs Service and the ASR Initiative for Africa.
In a separate engagement, the CGC addressed the officers and men serving in  Zone  D Headquarters, Bauchi/Gombe Area Command and Federal Operations Unit Zone D,
“I am here to encourage you to do more by effectively discharging the statutory functions of NCS in this Zone.
“Make sure you utilise the opportunity at your disposal to improve yourselves intellectually in preparation for future challenges. “
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