By Moshood Adebayo
Worried by the increasing smuggling of prohibited items and its effects on the economy, Comptroller, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Ogun State, Hazzan Gangua, urged traditional rulers and other stakeholders, particularly in the Idi-Iroko axis, to expose their sons and daughters involved in the illicit trade.
He told Daily Sun after the seizure and burying of 722 cartons of imported frozen fish and bags of imported rice. He frowned at a situation where the country was being turned into dumping of imported materials that negatively affected her economy:
“I wish to reiterate my appeal to traditional rulers, eminent personalities and other stakeholders to deploy all necessary mechanisms in discouraging their wards from indulging in smuggling.
“I believe that patriotism entails sacrifice and devoted service to our beloved nation. Unveiling necessary information that will assist us in our rigorous anti-smuggling activities is a catalyst towards the nation’s economic development and well being.”
While warning fish importers to follow guidelines, he said frozen fish had recently come under regulated product with vivid guidelines, which they must fulfil before importation. According to him, any fish importer, apart from fulfilling all import guidelines, must also have a fishing license and permit from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development as well as be subjected to National Agency for Food Administration and Control (NAFDAC), inspection/certification.
The seized frozen items and 56 bags of imported rice were intercepted in a truck with registration number Lagos EMK 96 XR: “The goods in summary have a Duty Paid Value of N10,573, 000.00.”
He said pursuant to the Federal Government policy on fish importation, the NCS was working assiduously at ensuring that the country was not turned into a dumping ground of not only fish, but other restricted items.