Customs Seizes N543.9m Contraband from Onne Port

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Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has said it generated N26,388,754,244.37 from duty paid on imported goods from August 16 till this month through its Area II Command, Onne, Rivers State.

It said it also recorded 10 seizures of prohibited items with duty paid value (DPV) of N543,958,740 within the same period.

Addressing journalists yesterday at Onne in his maiden outing since assumption of office on August 16, the Controller, Area II Command, NCS, Comptroller Aliyu Saidu, said the impounded goods included rice and military uniforms.

He listed some of the seized items to include: “1,070 25-litre jerry cans of vegetable cooking oil with DPV of N8,501,322; 55 20-feet container of foreign rice which contained 510 50kg bags of rice, 1040 25-kg bags of rice, 19,680 10-kg bags of rice with total DPV of N364, 746,762; and “a 40-feet container comprising of 600 pairs of military camouflage uniforms, 600 pairs of military caps, 600 pairs of military jungle boots: all are totally prohibited items and therefore has no monetary value as regards duty payment”.

According to the Area Controller, “found in the same 40-feet container are 15 bales of new, 80 rolls of water hose, 10 cartons of singlet, 50 cartons of shoes, 207 cartons of tiles, 15 bales of socks, five sacks of ladies’ skirt and other items with DPV of N4,682,021 used to conceal the military uniforms.”

Other seized items, he said, were 13,560 cartons of tomato paste with DPV of N70,502,283; a container load of 575 machetes with DPV of N21,201,500 imported with fake end user certificate and a 40ft container comprising car part, among others.

Giving a comparative analysis of the command’s revenue profile, Saidu said the command generated N62,593,334,451 between January and October, 2017 while it generated N68,331,473,662 in the corresponding period this year.

He also said the command was facilitating export trade in both oil and non-oil sector, and had so far generated through export into National Export Supervision Scheme (NESS) account a total of N1.42 billion.

He however expressed disappointment at the cases of smuggling going on in the country despite the awareness and dire consequences of the act, emphasising that it poses a “high threat to both the economy and security of the country and this is why those engage in it are considered economic saboteurs since they engage in false declarations to evade the correct duty payment. They are the destroyers of the country’s economy”.

“The Command under my watch will continue to deal decisively with the economic saboteurs, their agents and collaborators, and work for the security and well-being of the people of Nigeria,” he stated.