BY ISAIAH BENJAMIN, Kaduna
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone ‘B’, has made 122 seizures of items with Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N165,198,544.32 within three weeks.
The comptroller of the FOU with headquarters in Kaduna, Comptroller Al-Bashir Hamisu, who made the disclosure during a briefing in Kaduna, said, that the goods were seized between April 9th – April 29th, 2021 at various locations within the zone franchise, which are Kaduna, Zamfara, Kano, Kogi, Kebbi, Katsina, Sokoto, Jigawa, Kwara and Niger States.
Items seized and showcased to newsmen shortly after the briefing include, 27 vehicles, which are used as means of conveyance for the prohibited goods, 1711 bags of foreign parboiled rice, 591 foreign spaghetti and macaroni, 360 cartons of pharmaceutical products without NAFDAC number, 191 kegs of foreign vegetable oil in 25 litres, 76 bales and sacks of second hand clothings and 70 bags of foreign fertilizer in 50kg.
Others are, 20 kegs of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) in 25 litres, 19 cartons of couscous, six packs of foreign Ginny milky creamer and two units of used vehicles.
The comptroller said, the Nigeria Customs of today is committed in her resolve to bring smugglers to their knees until they desist from their activities, which amounts to economic sabotage.
He disclosed that villagers at border towns now serve as informants to smugglers by giving them information about customs patrol team movements, adding that the smuggled foreign parboiled bags of rice were concealed in private vehicles aimed at deceiving the officers at check points.
“Those within the border community are sabotaging our efforts, they give information to the smugglers, making our efforts very tedious but our men are up to the task and we are not leaving any stone unturned until we achieve the desired results.”
The comptroller, therefore, called for more cooperation from members of the public, to enable them safeguard Nigeria’s economy and ensure the success of government’s economic policies.
For those whose vehicles are used as means of conveyance for most of the smuggled goods, he said, ignorance of the law is not an excuse to commit any offence.
“Insecurity is also affecting our performance but we have equally devised strategies to ensure that we carry out our mandate,” he stressed.