By Steve Agbota, Lagos
The Oyo-Osun Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has set up the Mining Task Force (MTF) to clamp down on illegal mining companies in Oyo and Osun States.
The Area Controller of the Oyo-Osun Command, Comptroller AR Abdulkadir, stated this while briefing newsmen, said the task force was among others created to comb the nook and crannies of both Oyo and Osun States in search of illegal mining operators.
He appealed to companies engaging in mining operations of precious stones and other national mineral assets within Nigeria, to register their operations with the Nigeria Customs Service to avoid embarrassment and sanctions.
The other task forces that were set up by the Controller are; the Operation Fish-Out, Excise Task Force and the PMS Task Force. He said that the task forces were tasked with invoking relevant sections in the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) Cap C45 LFN 2004 that guides all Customs Procedures.
‘The MTF Team was created to comb the nook and crannies of both Oyo and Osun States in search of illegal mining operators who have failed to register their existence with the Nigeria Customs Service to enable proper monitoring, statistical data analysis and control of Precious Materials (Ornamental Stones) that are mined and exported to foreign countries,” he said.
On revenue, he said the Command made a collection of N15.871 billion thereby bringing the cumulative revenue collected for the 2021 fiscal year, as of 6th of July 2021 to N36. 658 billion, saying the Command has equally collected over N10 billion as excise duty within the month of June 2021 alone.
‘It is worthy of note that the Oyo/Osun Area Command made history by collecting an excise duty of N10,658 billion in the month of June; which is the highest collected in a month in the history of the Command. On the anti-smuggling drive, the Command made 50 seizures and eight detentions resulting in a Duty Paid Value of N66,976 million as analysed below.
‘Some of the seized items include 3,200 bags of 50 kg parboiled rice worth N56,320,000.00; 740 pieces of used tyres with DPV of N4,440,000.00, 7 bales of second-hand shoes worth N252,000.00; 47 bales of second-hand clothing worth N5,640,000.00, eight cartons of foreign tomato paste worth N64,800.00 and 15 cartons of foreign insecticide with DPV of N259,200.00. Total Duty Paid Value for the seized items amounted to N66,976,000.00,’ he added.
He said there were two suspects arrested during this period, adding that they have been granted bail pending the determination of their cases.