Comptroller General of Customs, Alhaji Inde Dikko Abdullahi
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone A, Ikeja, Lagos has intercepted a barge off the Badagry-Seme axis, laden with 7,269 bags of rice.
In a renewed effort to ensure strict compliance with the Comptroller General of Customs, Alhaji Inde Dikko Abdullahi’s directive on zero tolerance for importation of rice through the land borders and waterways,
The bags of rice, which were loaded into a specially-made local boat, have a duty paid value (DPV) of N50, 121, 365.08.
The interception of the rice, which is eaten by many Nigerians as a staple food, is coming on the heels of increased activities across the seaports, airports and international borders as many businessmen explore legitimate and illegitimate avenues to make brisk business ahead of the Yuletide, which are usually associated with high purchase of goods particularly consumables.
Many importers often take advantage of the Christmas season to import goods mostly purchased by Nigerians at this period.
Customs Area Controller (CAC), FOU, Zone ‘A’, Ikeja, Lagos, Comptroller Dan Ugo, disclosed this in Lagos while displaying the seized items. He confirmed that the seizure was made by a team led by one of its top officials, CSC Kirawa Abdullahi.
“What you see here is in furtherance to the wake-up call by the Comptroller General of Customs, Alhaji Dikko Inde Abdullahi on zero tolerance for importation of rice through the land borders”, Ugo said.
The Customs Chief averred that the unit would continue to collaborate with the Rice Importers Association of Nigeria and other critical stakeholders in ensuring that the unpatriotic attitudes of these “businessmen” are nipped in the bud.
He confirmed that the barge is on the high sea and that the process of evacuation of exhibits from the barge to smaller vessels for onward transfer to the Government warehouse, Ikeja was still on-going. He expressed appreciation on the efforts of the Western Marine Command for providing complementary security for the exhibits.
In a similar vein, FOU, Zone ‘A’, Ikeja, has intercepted a truck along Shaki-Road, Igbokpe, Oyo State with 155 bags of parboiled rice and 95 kegs of 25 litres of vegetable oil.
Ugo stressed that the seizure was as a result of harmonisation of intelligence gathering involving three teams in the unit.
The CAC applauded the Customs High Command for providing the necessary logistics and tools which have aided the breakthroughs made by officers and men of the command in recent times. He also showered encomiums on his officers for what he described as their “commitment and dedication” to duty since he was appointed the CAC, FOU, Zone A, Ikeja, Lagos.