Billy Graham Abel, Yola
The Adamawa and Taraba state command of the Nigeria Customs Service said it has arrested some suspected merchants of elephant tusk and buffalo horns during its clampdown on smuggling activities in Adamawa and Taraba.
The command said its clampdown on smuggling and the illegal important of baned goods has led to the seizure of several products including, 2,527 bags of foreign parboiled rice, 12 motor vehicles, 22 motor cycles, 240 bales of second-hand clothing, among other items which duty paid value is about N8m.
The command said due to the introduction of the Nigerian Integrated Customs Information Systems in April, it has succeeded in generating a revenue of about N105, 945, 476 in its operation between January to July and thereby achieving 71.2% of its annual target which amounts to a 44.6% increase over the corresponding period of the previous year.
This was made known by the Area Comptroller of Customs, Adamawa and Taraba State command, Kamardeen Olumoh on Tuesday, in Yola, Adamawa.
Olumoh while briefing the press on the progress of the activities of his command said: “The command has witnessed significant progress in revenue generation thereby impacting positively on the morale of officers and men.
“The command has stepped up its anti-smuggling war which has led to several seizures.
“These include 2,527 foreign parboiled rice, 12 motor vehicles, 22 motorcycles, 240 bales of second-hand clothing.
“Others seized items include cartons of Spaghetti, elephant tusks, buffalo horns, used tyres and tricycles.
“The most recent being the seizure of 52 drums of petroleum product (pms) with each drum containing 230 litres totaling 11,960 litres.
“The Duty Paid Value for all items seized is N8,598,476: 23k.”
The comptroller added that “the command has so far between January to July generated a sum of One Hundred and Five Million, Nine Hundred and Forty Five Thousand, One Hundred and Thirty Eight Naira, Forty Four Kobo (N105,945,138.44).
“This figure represents a 44.66% increase over the corresponding period of the previous year by (N73.23m). When assessed in relation to the revenue target of N86.72m given to the Command for same period, it still marked an increase of 22.17%.
“So far, the Command has at the end of July, 2019 achieved 71.26% of its annual target.
“This increase in revenue generation is not unconnected with our efforts in Stake Holder sensitization that has encouraged traders to come forward to make proper declaration of their imported items, mostly agricultural produce.”
He explained that, “The introduction of NICIS i.e Nigeria Integrated Customs Information System in April/May this year is playing a major role in encouraging importers to make declarations because of its flexibility, which is in tune with the Federal Government Policy on the Ease of doing business.”
Adding that, “There has been strategic and operational collaboration between the Customs Administration of Nigeria and Cameroon on how to manage the Security challenges along our common borders, encourage mutual exchanges and sharing of cross border trade data.”
Olumoh put forward that, “Inadequate number of officers to patrol the vast border line of the Command remains a major obstacle considering the fact that the Command boasts of the most expansive borders in the Country consisting of Adamawa and Taraba states.”
The Adamawa and Taraba custom boss also expressed optimism that, the ongoing recruitment into the Service will go a long way in boosting the staff strength of the Command and also decried that the low volume of trade between Nigeria and Cameroon and bad roads also constitute a major setback for the services operation.