The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone ‘A’, with headquarters in Ikeja, Lagos, said it intercepted and seized smuggled goods worth Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N13.908 billion between January 1 and December 31, 2022.
The Unit disclosed that during the onslaught against the economic saboteurs, it arrested 176 smugglers during the same period.
Acting Controller, FOU Zone A, Hussein Kehinde Ejibunu, disclosed this during a press briefing in Lagos on Thursday.
Ejibunu, a Deputy Comptroller of Customs (DC), said among the seized goods were 156 trailer loads of rice, 108 vehicles, 20 trailer loads of petroleum products as well as other contraband.
The Customs boss noted that the year 2022 for Federal Operations Unit Zone A was a period of sustained anti-smuggling onslaught, a zero compromise for duty evasion, and diligent facilitation of trade.
He averred that the unit prosecuted its core mandates without fear or favour in the six states of the South-West, namely, Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Ekiti, and Ondo states.
“Even in the face of resistance, attacks, and tricks in the mode of concealments, we were duty bound to carry out our responsibilities.
“I am glad to report that we shook the smuggling world within our area of responsibility.
“This unit also prevented loss of government revenue as our assigned position of being a layer of check uncovered attempts at evading duties.
“We recovered the discovered shortfalls through the issuance of Demand Notices (DN).
“We did all these at the expense of our lives placing national interest ahead of any narrow or personal gain,” he added, noting, “It is sad to note that some of our officers paid the supreme price last year when they got killed by smugglers. For us, they are the heroes of the anti-smuggling battle and they will never be forgotten.”
Continuing, DC Ejibunu added, “From January 1 to December 31, 2022, we made a total seizure of smuggled items worth a duty paid value of N13,908,575,436.5.
“Besides protecting the national economy, some of the seizures achieved protection of citizens’ health because dangerous, expired, and harmful products were prevented from being smuggled into the country.
“The items seized were foreign parboiled rice, vehicles, drugs, textiles, petroleum products and other items in the import and export prohibition lists. In terms of volume, rice topped the list of our seizures.
“We seized 93,102 X 50kg which amounts to about 156 trailer loads of rice. Even our newly constructed warehouse had an overflow of seized rice.”
SOURCE: Daily independent