From Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
The Nigeria Customs Service, Ogun 1 Area Command, says it has seized a total of 1,839 various prohibited items in thirteen months, with the duty paid value of N2,383,401,660
The Customs Area Controller, Peter Chado Kolo, who disclosed this on Thursday while briefing newsmen on the scorecard of the Command for the year 2020 and January 2021, held at the Sentry, Idi Iroko Border Post, said the seizure included foreign parboiled rice, petroleum products, poultry products, used tyres, second-hand clothing, dangerous drugs (tramadol and Cannabis Sativa), palm oil, assorted soap and body cream.
Kolo added that 512 vehicles and other means of conveyance were also confiscated in the period under review.
On the revenue generated by the Command within the period, the CAC said N65,770,000 was raked in through fees collected from the auction sales of seized petroleum products.
He explained that the major source of revenue of the Command from import and export has not been in operation since the closure of the Land Borders as directed by the Federal Government of Nigeria, noting “the only source of revenue for the Command as of today are fees collected from the auction sales of seized petroleum products and other perishable items”.
Kolo, however, said the Command was able to record the achievements due to some bold steps taken by his management.
The steps, according to him, included aggressive stakeholders engagement and management, deployment of intelligence in all the operations across the state, structural reorganization of the command, the improved motivation of officers, improved discipline and total dedication to duty by officers of the command.
While recalling that some officers and men of the Command suffered attacks from smugglers while performing their lawful duties, the CAC said his command would not be deterred by such attacks, vowing that Ogun 1 Area Command would step up its anti-smuggling operations.
‘We wish to reiterate that the sustained attack on operatives of NCS and other sister Agencies will not deter us from the continued performance of our legitimate duties in Ogun State. The Command will continue to dialogue, engage, sensitize and educate the public on the social and economic implication of smuggling as well as performing the statutory function of enforcing compliance in line with government fiscal policies,’ Kolo added.
He appealed to parents and guardians residing in border communities to prevail on their children, wards and youths to desist from such criminal acts such as smuggling and attack on Security agencies.
The customs boss further said the Command had embarked on a catch-them-young sensitisation visit to some secondary schools in the border communities, to educate the students on dangers inherent in smuggling activities, while encouraging them to aspire for a future career in the Nigeria Customs Service.