By Olusakin Babalola, Ibadan
The Oyo/Osun Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has collected a sum of N21,954,286,380.9 as revenue between January’s and December 2018 just as it arrested 10 suspected smugglers in the zone.
The Area Controller, Mr.Abdulahi Argungu while addressing newsmen in Ibadan on Thursday, said this represent 90.4 per cent of the command’s revenue target for 2018.
He disclosed that 10 suspected smugglers were awaiting trials at different courts in the state.
While noting that the revenue collection was remarkably improved, he disclosed that it was made from seizures made by the command.
According to him, the federal government’s efforts in reviving the nation’s economy through local industries and strengthening security, especially at the nation borders were of utmost priority to the service.
Argungu added that the command would do everything humanly possible in accordance with the law to actualize the goals set by the government in this regard.
He stressed the need to restrategize and reinvigorate the operations by utilizing modern anti-smuggling techniques in accordance with international best practice in order to achieve laudable goals of the anti-smuggling campaign of the Nigeria Customs Service.
Argungu listed the seized goods between October till date to include eight used vehicles with duty paid value N20,180,876.39, 3,010 (50kg) bags of foreign parboiled rice valued N50,556,678.25, and 600 (25 litres) kegs of vegetable oil valued N13,537,125.00.
Others are canabis sativa (Indian Hemp) valued N6,999,776.59, 25 bales of second hand clothing valued N6,443,671.50, 33 means of conveyance valued N16,125,291.97.
Abdul who put the duty value paid on the seizes goods at N113, 843,419.70, explained that most of the contraband goods were conveyed in commercial buses and cars meant for transportation of people and goods but were converted to perpetrate the dastardly act.
“The law that prohibits the importation of rice and used vehicles through nation’s border is not new, so those who claim ignorance of the ban have no excuse.
“Furthermore, due to the recent huge seizure of illicit drugs at the sea ports, it becomes necessary for us to intensify our efforts against illicit drug trafficking through the nation borders with a view to checkmating the influx of illicit drugs through our territorial boundaries,”
He said the command’s achievements were made possible by the continued support and encouragement of the Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali Ibrahim (rtd) who had continued to motivate and support the officers through privision of brand new patrol vehicles.
While pledging that the command would not relent in its efforts to justify the CGC’s huge investment in the anti-smuggling campaign, she enjoined the patriotic citizens who engage in legitimate business “not to entertain any fear, for the Nigeria Customs Service is only concerned about bringing those who flout extant e and Excise law and regulation uh to book and enable those who engage in legitimate business to enjoy trade facilitation”.