The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) at the weekend disclosed that its Federal Operation Unit, Zone ‘A’, Lagos intercepted no fewer than 135 trailers loaded with thousands of bags of foreign rice.
The Comptroller of the Federal Operation Unit, Hussein Ejibunu disclosed this at a media briefing in Lagos, saying 2021 was eventful as operatives of the unit successfully combed the Western zone for contraband.
According to him the duty paid value of the rice and other cargoes seized last year, was more than N7.86 billion. In the year under review, the comptroller disclosed that 751 pieces of cartridges were also intercepted.
He said other products in the unit’s kitty “include premium motor spirit, frozen poultry products of more than 12,394 cartons as well as 562 units of used vehicles. Used shoes, used clothing, used fridges, vegetable oil, 16 containers of unprocessed woods, carbide, unapproved drugs, and 149 units of motorcycles were impounded.”
He disclosed that the Unit generated revenue to the tune of N617,919,095.25 with 116 suspects arrested. 18 of the suspects were arraigned in court, 69 released on administrative bail, one-handed over to the NDLEA while 23 of the suspects are still in Custom’s custody.
He explained that the end of 2021 witnessed the unit being boosted with operational vehicles, gun trucks, and commendation letters by the Comptroller General of Customs and his management, that galvanized officers and men to improve on their performance.
Obviously, according to the comptroller, the re-jigging of the Unit was the magic wand that shot up the seizure profile of the Unit, between September and December 2021.
Ejibunu also disclosed that the federal operation unit “has discreetly mapped out strategies to vigorously pursue revenue recoveries and ensure we meet or even surpass any target given to us.”
He added that he would be paying a courtesy visit to Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu to deliberate on the dangers of various beaches in Lagos.
The beaches, according to him, are now safe haven for smuggling activities as smugglers patronise them daily as a lucrative route.