Customs service warns smugglers to close shop in 2018
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has declared total war against the daredevil smugglers along the nation’s land borders this year, warning them to steer clear of the illicit trade.
The Public Relations Officer, Joseph Attah, said the support enjoyed from government and the legislators would translate to improved performance in 2018, as more patrol vehicles and equipment as expected.“We are prepared to do more of what we did last year and we look forward to breaking the record of 2017 in 2018 by God’s grace.”
However, Attah refuted the claim that the National Assembly is to be blamed for its 2017 performance, saying that relationship between the service and the National Assembly is cordial.
Attah stated emphatically that the relationship between the Customs and the National Assembly was very cordial.His words, “For avoidance of doubt, we want to say that the relationship between the NCS and the National Assembly is cordial.“There is no problem and we have no reason to blame the respected body for what is generally accepted as a very good performance in 2017.
“How do we (Customs) blame an individual or an organisation when many are commending the service for a job well done in terms of revenue collection and suppression of smuggling?,” he stated.Attah added that, “we are not reporting something negative; we are reporting something positive. Does it make sense to blame somebody for performing very well.”
Meanwhile, Nigeria Customs Service has donated a total of 421 trailer loads of rice totaling 252,666 units of 50kg bags valued at N3,789,990,000 in the last 22 months to Internally Displaced Persons .
Attah, a Deputy Comptroller of Customs, said that the donations which are in line with a presidential directive on the disposal of perishable seizures after due diligence of court condemnation, were carried out in four states of Borno, Yobe, Adamawa and Edo.
The donation was carried out by the National Logistics Committee consisting members from Nigeria Customs Service, Nigerian Army, Nigerian Airforce, Nigeria Police Force, FRSC,NSCDC, NAFDAC, NTA, NAN, NUJ and Redcross.In addition to the rice donation, he said the customs also donated 82,140 jerrycans of 25 litre vegetable oil valued at N985,680,000; soap worth N52,625,700 in 19,491 cartons and other items including clothing, insecticides ,foot wears,bags and 1 x40ft container loaded with frozen tilapia fish.
Attah said sustained customs anti smuggling efforts have kept customs warehouses filled with seizures despite the various donations made by the service to IDPs.‘’Despite tonnes of rice and other relief items already transferred to the IDPs, some NCS warehouses are still filled with rice. This only shows that the sustained onslaught against unrepentant rice smugglers continues to yield positive results.
‘’The ones in the warehouses now are either awaiting court condemnation or forfeiture to the Federal Government or have been already allocated to governments of the affected states who pay the Army Corp of Transport and Logistics for their transportation to the IDPs.‘’Eventually, the seized rice and other perishable items presently in the warehouses will be given to fellow Nigerians affected by the unfortunate insurgency in the North -East’’ Attah said.
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