The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) said it has generated N1.1 trillion revenue to the Federal Government’s coffer and seized contraband worth more than N40 billion between January and November 2018.
The Public Relations Officer of the service, Mr. Joseph Attah disclosed this while addressing newsmen at the end of the year breakfast meeting in Lagos yesterday, said the amount generated surpassed the N1.037 trillion recorded in 2017.
He added: “Our experiences in this outgoing year have shown that with robust stakeholder engagement, enhanced automation and strict implementation of the import and export guidelines NCS can generate more revenue and effectively suppress smuggling to the barest minimum.”
According to him, suppression of smuggling remains the most challenging aspect of customs functions as anti-smuggling operations are seen differently by different people.
He bemoaned: “Regrettably, many people still see smuggling as business not crime. In fact, smuggling is not just a crime but also the mother of many crimes and criminalities. Violent crimes are perpetrated with dangerous items such as arms and drugs smuggled into the country.
“Apart from its negative impacts on national economy, smuggling has devastating effects on security and well-being of any nation. As we strive to fight smuggling, we are often confronted with the following challenges: porous borders, non-cooperative attitude of some border dwellers, willingness of some Nigerians to help the smuggler mob customs operative, lack of proper implementation of the ECOWAS protocol on transit by our neighbors and use of motorcycles and animals to smuggle through difficult terrains.”
Despite above challenges, he said NCS has recorded 4,010 seizures with duty paid value of over N40 billion, adding that outstanding among the seizures are arms, ammunitions, dangerous drugs, vehicles and rice.
Speaking further, he said last month NCS announced seizures of 59×40 feet containers of Tramadol and other controlled drugs across the commands of the service. He said that 40 containers were seized at Apapa, 10 also seized at Tincan while nine were seized in Port Harcourt II (Onne).
He said in line with the Federal Government policy on agriculture, a total 238,094 (50k) bags of rice were seized across the country in the period between January to November 2018.
He hinted: “CGC introduced the e-auction platform, app.trade.gov.ng/eauction on the July, 2017. NCS has continued to auction via this online platform that is devoid of any influence. So far 806 vehicles were uploaded, 753 winners emerged and a total of N346,146,349 have been generated through the electronic platform. The portal opens by 12 noon Monday to 12 noon Wednesday every week.”
He said rice and other perishable items are being given to the victims of the unfortunate insurgency in the North-East. Adding that so far a total of 424, 391 (50kg) bags of rice worth N4.048 billion and other seized perishables have been distributed to IDPs in Borno, Yobe, Adamawa and Edo states.
However, he noted that the implementation of the Presidential mandate of restructure, reforms and raise revenue by the present management of NCS have greatly repotioned the service for the better.