No fewer than 95 persons suspected to have contravened various provisions of the law in the last six months are in the net of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone â€˜Aâ€™ Ikeja, Lagos.
The suspects were arrested in connection with 475 different seizures comprising foreign parboiled rice, frozen poultry products, vegetable oil, smuggled vehicles, Indian hemp, arms, fake pharmaceutical/medicaments and general merchandise.
Within the period under review, the service also intercepted various contraband with duty paid value (DPV) of N1.3 billion just as it recovered N1.2 billion from duty payments and demand notices on general goods that the consignees in collaboration with their licensed customs agents tried to circumvent the system in the seaports, airport and border stations through wrong classification, transfer of value, and short-change in duty payment.
The Customs Area Controller (CAC), NCS, FOU, Zone A, Ikeja, Lagos, Comptroller Mohammed Uba Garba revealed this in an exclusive interview with THISDAY.
He attributed the successes recorded by the command to the support and co-operation it received from the management of the NCS under the leadership of the Comptroller General of Customs (CGC), Colonel Ibrahim Hameed Ali (retired).
His words: â€œI did not do this alone. My officers and men and officers have been alive to statutory roles and responsibilities namely anti-smuggling campaign, revenue generation and trade facilitation. This is because the CGC and the management recognized hard work and putting square pegs in square holes. Without the management motivation and necessary logistic support, we wonâ€™t have achieved this feat within this periodâ€.
He also attributed the strides made by the command to the support and co-operation he received from sister security agencies within its areas of jurisdiction following his courtesy visits to them.
These include the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 81 Division, Nigerian Army, Lagos; Commander, 9 Brigade, Nigerian Army, Cantonment Ikeja; Commander, 35 Artillery, Nigerian Army, Alamala Baracks Abeokuta, Ogun State; Commissioners of Police, Ogun and Lagos State.
The CAC hailed what he called â€œthe commitment and diligenceâ€ of the officers and men of the command for thwarting the antics of dare devil smugglers who used different methods for the concealment of their nefarious acts.
Garba charged his officers and men to be professional and diligent in performing their statutory roles and responsibilities, particularly anti-smuggling and the blocking of all revenue leakages.