The Nigeria Customs Service (NSE), Seme Area Command has announced improved revenue generation over the last two months, raking in N1.948 billion and several seizures during the period.
Area Controller of the command, Mohammed Uba Garba, who resumed as the new head of the command two months ago, stated this while addressing journalists at the command headquarters in Seme.
“I assumed duty here in August 2018 with a clear mandate from the Comptroller General of Customs (CGC) in line with his policy thrust which places strong emphasis on integrity and transparency in public service. To reinvigorate the offensive against smugglers and similarly improve revenue, Seme officers were re-orientated to step up their actions against all economic saboteurs without any compromise. It is therefore heart-warming; to see that early signs show that our resolve is yielding positive results.
“During this period, our resolute determination to succeed resulted in an, impressive revenue generation of one billion, nine hundred and forty-eight million, four hundred and eight thousand, five hundred and nineteen naira sixty-six kobo only (N1,948,408,519.66) realised for the period under review,” he said.
He declared that the command under his watch will do what is necessary to put economic saboteurs out of business.
Similarly, the uncompromising stance of the enforcement unit led to the seizure of 850 items with a duty paid value (DPV) of three hundred and seventy million, three hundred and forty four thousand, one hundred and eighteen (N37 8, 344,118.00). The seizures include the following items: 16,729 bags of 50kg foreign rice which is equivalent of 27 trailers of rice valued at N302,477,049,115 cartons of imported frozen poultry products worth N728,654, 50 litres of jerry Cans of vegetable oil valued at N400,440, 111 pieces of used tyres worth N859,345 21 vehicles valued at N134,410,536 and 57 packs of Tramadol worth N11,090,832
He said already, seven suspects were arrested, explaining: “some were convicted, bailed and currently detained in connection with the seizures and are undergoing interrogation for possible prosecution.
“Beyond the above statistics, it is obvious that the seizures represent protection of the economy and security of our people. Let me state clearly that it is simply not enough to inform you about the revenue and seizures (with the DPV); what is of paramount importance is to boost our economic growth and provide employment for our teeming youths.
“Take for instance, the government policy on rice; the rationale behind the policy is geared towards self-sufficiency in terms of food production that would meet the demand of the citizenry. Incentives have been created for rice farmers, individuals and state governments have committed so much in terms of finance in order for this goal of self-sufficiency to be actualised.”
The Seme Command, he added, cannot afford to be complacent, noting that the dangers inherent in smuggling are too numerous to mention, hence the command’s resolve to fight them relentlessly.
“Among the seizures recorded, are imported frozen poultry products. As you are aware, such products are unhealthy and very dangerous for human consumption due to the chemical substance used in preserving them, which are carcinogenic.
“For the avoidance of doubt, we are not out to frustrate members of the public or indeed the business community, our major interest is to facilitate legitimate trade. All those who are compliant, have nothing to fear. We remain determined to detect, arrest and prosecute those who do not comply with the extant laws regarding importation and exportation through the land borders,” he said.
He added: “Do the right thing and save yourself the agony of losing your wealth and possibility of going to jail’. We are calling on our host community to cooperate with us and equally sensitize the youths against smuggling and any other act of criminality.
“At this juncture, on behalf of the officers and men of Seme Area Command extend our unreserved appreciation to the Comptroller General of Customs, Colonel Hameed Ibrahim Ali (rtd) and his management team for the continuous support and encouragement? The achievement recorded so far is with the tacit support of other security agencies, especially the Nigerian Army, Navy and Air Force, Police, Immigrations, DSS, NDLEA, NAFDAC, NAQS, FRSC, NSCDC and Port Health Services. “