The Oyo/Osun Command, Nigeria Customs Service has collected N4,895,772,769.90 in January 2021 and seized goods with a total duty paid value of N393,420,494 .
This was disclosed by the Customs Area Controller, Comptroller A. R. Abdulkadir, in a statement issued by the Public Relations Officer of the command, Mr. Kayode Wey to Maritime Watch in Lagos last week.
The controller noted that the command’s operatives arrested two suspects during the period under review and the suspects had been granted bail pending the determination of their cases.
Comptroller Abdukadir reiterated that the codename “Operation Fish Out” has effectively made officers and men of the command take the battle to the doorsteps of daredevil smugglers while invoking sections 147 and 151 of the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) Cap C45 LFN 2004.
The command seized 220 x 25ltrs each keg of Premium Motor Spirit (otherwise known as Petrol), 20kg of cannabis Sativa packed in a 20kg bag with Duty Paid Value of N4,526,063.00 which had been handed over to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency for further action.
“Other seizures include 3052 bags of foreign parboiled rice with DPV of N124,477,488.00 and 8 x 25ltrs each of Vegetable Oil with DPV of N217,251.00 , 60 bales of Second-hand clothings (Okrika) with DPV of N15,030,143.00 , 246 pieces of Used Tyres with DPV of N2,698,866.00 and 8 units of Toyota Camry (2020 Models) with DPV of N211,541,320.00 .
“Others item intercepted include 1 used Toyota Highlander (2019 Model) with DPV of N33,710,363.00 , 10 units of Motorcycles used as means of conveyance for smuggling of rice with DPV of N1,219,000.00 ; Within the period, one (1) used Mercedes Benz ML350 (2014 Model) has been apprehended and placed under detention pending provision of customs document.
“This achievement recorded was made possible by the experience, resilience and vigilance of officers of this Area Command.
“The Area Command under my management has further enhanced its anti-smuggling strategies by taking the battle to the doorsteps of the smugglers, rather than waiting for them to come out, in an operation codenamed “Operation Fish Out” while invoking sections 147 and 151 of the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) Cap C45 LFN 2004.
“With the power to search premises for uncustoms goods and power to give rewards to informants who give genuine intelligence help improve the capabilities of the command on anti-smuggling duties.”
According to him, sections 158 and 167 of the Customs and Excise Management Act Cap C45 LFN 2004 allows officers of Nigeria Customs Service to patrol freely across the nation and also makes provision for detention, seizures and condemnation of goods that fail to conform with the rules guiding importation, exportation or local production of such goods, respectively.
He also commended the current administration of Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd.) for his zero tolerance for all acts of corrupt practices, pointing out that the Oyo/Osun Area Command is committed to enforcing the same.
“We shall further sharpen our intelligence and enforcement capabilities to fight smuggling and enforce compliance with reference to extant laws guiding our procedures and rules of engagement.
“We shall deploy all our strength and available logistics to ensure success in the battle against those who would like to dare the capability of officers of Oyo/Osun Area Command. Oyo and Osun states will be made unbearable for economic saboteurs.
Comptroller Abdulkadir lauded efforts and contributions of the Customs Intelligence Unit, Federal Operations Unit, Strike Force, Customs Police and Joint Border Patrol Team, adding that other security agencies such as the Police, DSS, Nigerian Army, Oyo State Operation Burst and Amotekun played key roles in the fight against smuggling in the region.