By Uche Usim
Despite the harsh economic climate of the country, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Seme Area Command recorded N695, 292,849 as revenue for June 2016.
According to the Customs Area Controller, Victor David Dimka, the figure shows the command achieved 69 per cent of its monthly target.
He added that Command also made a total number of 64 seizures with a duty paid value (DPV) of N 35,693,712.28 for the period under review.
Dimka said the increase in the June figure compared to the last two months indicated a gradual improvement in economic activities across the land border.
This, he added, may spring from the commencement of the flexible foreign exchange policy of the federal government powered by the Central Bank, which allows for the determination of the exchange rate by market forces.
He also attributed the increase to the commitment and dedication of his officers and men to the tripartite function of the service.
The Customs Area Controller reiterated that the enforcement unit of the command remains undeterred in the onslaught against smuggling activities across the land border.
He said no campaign of calumny on the pages of newspapers will stop the command from combating and suppressing smuggling activities to the barest minimum.
The Comptroller noted that a situation where officers performing their legitimate functions are always ambushed and maimed with dangerous weapons cannot be accepted nor tolerated. “Having taken time at different forums like the Customs Community Consultative Forum (CCCF) and the Joint Border Security Meeting (JBSM) to sensitize the border communities on the dangers of smuggling to our health and the Nigeria economy at large, I call on the community leaders, opinion leaders and other stakeholders to sensitize those who take pleasure In smuggling at all cost despite government policies banning the importation of such goods that is not in their interest”, he said.
He emphasised that the host communities should be seen as collaborators with the Customs and not saboteurs who circumvent the peaceful implementation process of federal government policies.
“It is inevitable that Seme is experiencing change and as such; compliance becomes the only alternative to drive down the policy thrust of the Comptroller General of Customs, Hameed Ibrahim Ali and the agenda of the Federal Government of Nigeria.
“As a Service and as a command, we remain resolute and undaunted in the pursuit of our core mandate of suppressing smuggling at the busiest land border in West Africa; generation of maximum revenue and facilitation of legitimate trade across the frontier, he added.