Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
Operatives of Ogun Area 1 Command of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) have intercepted and seized 44, 933 bags of foreign parboiled rice smuggled into the country from the neighbouring Republic of Benin.
The Controller in charge of the Command, Bamidele Makinde, who stated this on Tuesday, while briefing journalists at the Idiroko Border Post on the activities of the command under his watch since he assumed duty nine months, said that the smuggled bags of rice were intercepted by the anti smuggling operatives between the of February 6 and December 6, 2022.
Makinde explained that the seized foreign parboiled rice, an equivalent of 73 trailer trucks with each bag weighing 50kg, were intercepted along with other contrabands, with the overall Duty Payable Value (DPV) worth over N4.886b in a total number of 842 seizures carried out by his command within the period under review.
He added that the Ogun Area 1 Command was able to generate N58.676million as revenue since April, 2022 when the Federal Government gave the directive for the reopening of the Idiroko Border till date.
Makinde stated that the revenue was generated from the auction and sales of perishable and other highly combustible items such as the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) being smuggled out of Nigeria, but intercepted by operatives of the command.
The NCS Controller further disclosed that his command was able to achieve the feat through collaborative efforts of the traditional rulers in the border communities, sister security agencies, as well as through what he described as “intensive round-the-clock surveillance and patrol”.
He, however, noted that the patrol was not without its attendant collateral damages to the officers and men of the command.
“It is important to note that activities embarked upon by the command were patriotic-driven and is in the interest of the economic development and national security of Nigeria”, he pointed out
Makinde listed other contrabands intercepted to include: 16, 224 kegs of petroleum; 3, 629 units of disused tyres; 41 sacks with 940 wraps of weeds suspected to be Indian Hemp; 2, 250 packets of Tramadol; 89 bundles of foreign textile; several cartons of foreign wine; 170 cartons of poultry products among others.
Emphasizing that economic and other commercial activities have improved at the border communities in Ogun State since the reopening of the border, the Controller, however, declared that the NCS operatives will not be deterred by the magnitude of attacks on its personnel, but continue to discharge their constitutional responsibilities as prescribed by the laws.