Goods worth over billion of Naira seized
By Adegboyega Oni
The Controller of Federal Operation Unit, Zone A of the Nigeria Customs Service in Ikeja Lagos, Comptroller Aliyu Mohammed has stated that rice produced in Kano, Ebonyi, Kebbi and other states in the country is enough to feed the nation as there is no justification for Nigeria to import rice from abroad.
Comptroller Mohammed noted that continuous rice smuggling which is being predicated on shortage of rice production in the country is a fallacy and maintained that Nigerian rice is nutritious and healthy for consumption than rice from Asian countries. He however advised Nigerians to look at government policy on rice from a positive side rather than condemning it.
Comptroller Mohammed admonished Nigerians while briefing journalists on the anti-smuggling activities of his Unit from February to April 16, 2019 at the Ikeja office of the Unit in Lagos on Wednesday April 17, 2019.
‘’It is a ruse and a fallacy that rice smuggling thrives in the country because the nation does not produce enough. Rice produced in Kano, Abakaleke and Badejia is enough to feed Nigerians and is nutritious and healthy for consumption than rice from Asian countries. Why do we need to import? Nigerians should begin to look at the government policy on rice from a positive side rather than negative. We are the one who will repair the country,’’ Mohammed sermonised.
The Controller noted that within the period under review the Unit had seized 18,310 bags of rice amounting to N190,961,320 million in value with a duty paid value of N190,961,320 million. He added that 180 jerry cans of vegetable oil worth of N1,440,000 with a duty paid value of N1,440,000 were seized.
Among other goods seized were drugs which include 1000 sachets of Tramadol, 600 cartons of Codeine Syrup, 1056 cartons of Chest and Lung tablet, 49 cartons of Paracetamol Injection and 398 cartons of Really Extra (Diclofenac). Others were 157 bales of used cloths, 265 pieces of used tyres, 280 pieces of machetes, 62 cartons of tomato paste, 43 sacks of used shoes, 200 cartons of frozen poultry products, 24 pieces of compressor and 12 parcels of Indian hemp.
The Unit boss informed that the total duty paid value of the goods including rice was N610,470,320 million and averred that most of the 113 units of exotic vehicles seized by the Unit within the period with a duty paid value of N1, 339,088,544 billion were proceeds of money laundering.
Comptroller Mohammed attributed the success recorded by his staff to the support being giving to the Unit by the Comptroller General of Customs Colonel Hameed Ali (rtd) which, he said, had served as an impetus for his officers and men in the discharge of their statutory obligation to the nation.