From Olanrewaju Lawal, Birnin Kebbi
The Kebbi State Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has said that it has remitted the sum of N13,181,500 into the Federal Government coffers as revenue generated from the sales of seized PMS, AGO and other perishable items.
The Kebbi Area Comptroller, Comptroller Hafiz Kalla who confirmed this during a press briefing in Birnin Kebbi explained the seized items of PMS, AGO amounting to 128,750 litres were auction and revenue generated were remitted accordingly.
While breaking down the achievement of the Area Command, Kalla said: “Our activities last year mainly focused on suppression of smuggling which culminated in 154 seizures of assorted items valued at N118, 944,926.00.
“The seized items include, but not limited to:1,583 Bags Of 50kg &10 Bags Of 25kg of Foreign Parboiled Rice 299 Packages of 1kg Of Indian Hemp 253 Bales Of Second Hand Clothing and 1,603 pieces of new textile materials One Tanker Loaded With 50,000 Litres of PMS, 5 Units of Vehicles, 111 pieces of used tyres.
“A sum of N13,181,500.00 was equally generated as revenue from the auction sales of 128,750 of PMS/AGO and other perishable items seized by the Command in accordance with extant laws guiding our operations. The amount has since been remitted to the Federal Government coffers.”
Kalla, who attributed the success to the doggedness of his gallant officers, noted that other relevant security agencies through their mutual collaboration and intelligence sharing helped the Command in the course of their duties.
He disclosed that the strategies the command put in place to curb the smuggling of foreign parboiled rice to the state has assisted the rice farmers in massive cultivation of the product.
According to him, “It is noteworthy to point out that the strategies we put in place to bring down the rate of smuggling activities to the barest minimum in Kebbi State have started yielding positive results. A cursory look at our seizure records for the year ended when juxtaposed with the year 2020 shows a sharp decline in the frequency of smuggling and the items smuggled.
“For instance, while the Command made a total number of 234 seizures in the year 2020, the frequency of smuggling recorded in 2021 was 154, which suggests a 35% decline in the rate of smuggling.
“Similarly, the quantity of recorded foreign parboiled rice smuggled into the State compared with the year 2020 had plummeted by 20% in 2021 suggesting that our eagled eyed officers are winning the war on rice smugglers in the State. Now, more farmers in Kebbi State, which is the hub of rice production, have availed themselves of the Federal Government incentives to boost rice production, thereby making the foreign product less attractive,” he said.