The Seme Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has intercepted contraband valued at N54.46 million.
The Customs Area Controller, Comptroller Mohammed Aliyu, made this known on Thursday in a statement issued by Mr Taupyen Selchang, the command’s Public Relations Officer in Lagos.
Aliyu said that the seized items include: 3,200 bags of rice and 1,000 cartons of frozen poultry products.
He said that 720 jerry cans of vegetable oil and 57 bales of second-hand clothes were also intercepted by his officers.
According to him, in recent times, the command engaged in aggressive anti-smuggling operation, thereby tightening the land borders against smuggling activities.
He said that the command was deploying all necessary tools to ensure that the core mandate of the service (revenue generation, facilitation of legitimate trade and suppression of smuggling) were achieved.
“This is because actualising the functions of revenue generation and legitimate trade facilitation depend solely on how smuggling activities are aggressively suppressed to the barest minimum.
“It is against this backdrop that the anti-smuggling unit of the command intensified its operations in order to curb the menace of trans-border crimes (smuggling) and other vices.
“The ongoing aggressive patrol by the anti-smuggling operation unit of illegal routes and the border posts is yielding tremendous results and has translated into the seizure of numerous items,’’ Aliyu said.
The comptroller urged importers to comply with the government’s fiscal policies.
Aliyu said that in order to key into the Presidential mandates (Reform, Restructure and Revenue Generation), smuggling activities has to be confronted headlong in order to prevent revenue leakages.
“This reality has necessitated the proactive approach of the enforcement unit to ensure smuggling activities are maximally suppressed in order to enhance and boost revenue generation,’’ he said.
Aliyu said that drastic reduction of economic activities through the corridor had impacted negatively on the revenue profile of the command.
“The command remains undaunted in ensuring that smuggling is suppressed to the barest minimum,’’ he said.
Aliyu said that the command would continue to protect the local industries to provide employment opportunities to unemployed youths.
He advised that the Customs Community Consultative Forum (CCCF) platform to sensitise and advise youths in the host communities to stay away from border vices.
“The warning became necessary in view of the fact that those caught committing smuggling offences are currently undergoing prosecution in various law courts,’’ the controller said.