The comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Strike Force has once again intercepted unprocessed woods worth over N48million in Apapa.
The came barely a week after the strike force intercepted about 3420 bags of foreign parboiled rice smuggled into the country from Benin Republic.
Speaking to newsmen, the Zonal Commander, Zone A of the strike force, Salisu Asaba-Bullah said the unprocessed woods were on the way to be exported out of the country.
Asaba-Bullah who disclosed that the unprocessed woods fell under export prohibition list said the consignment have been seized and are presently under detention.
According to him, “At about 1130 hrs of Tuesday, 3rd July 2018. A team of Headquarter: Strike Force led by ASCl Olaniyan, J. O and others intercepted 4 x 20 Containers with numbers: TRHU 361154-8, MRSU 017398-0, TRHU 336524-9 AND BSlU 299069-8 conveyed on lveco trucks with Reg. Nos LSD 507XS; JJJ 558XV; AGL 530 XA and one unmarked lveco truck respectively along Apapa Axis, suspected to be carrying uncustom goods.
“The Trucks were brought to Federal Operation Unit, Ikeja Government Warehouse where physical examination was conducted on the said containers and it revealed unprocessed wood. A seizure entry was made since unprocessed wood fall under export prohibition list.”
The Forestry Department had in 2016 said the maximum allowable dimensions of unprocessed woods for exports are length 30mm-350mm, width 50mm-360mm and thickness 25mm-345mm.
Also, exporters of unprocessed woods must have all the required permits including, Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) certificate for exports, strict compliance with the provisions of the extant guidelines for non-oil exports, completion of Nigeria Exports Proceeds form and that of the customs service ,opening of letter of credit for buyers and repatriation of foreign exchange proceeds arising from the approval into the company’s domiciliary account in Nigeria, and all the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) certificate required for the establishment of any company.
The permit to all semi-processed and processed wood exporters, procedures, guidelines and documentation for export of semi-processed and processed wood exporters from Nigeria also includes letters of request from prospective buyers, evidence of permits from the state where the wood will be sourced, pre-visit to the factory site by relevant officers from the Federal Department of Forestry among others.
The critical aspect of the new requirements for wood exports is that, the exporter must own a saw mill where these woods are processed to the required sizes for exports. This will add value and create employment opportunities for Nigerians.