Customs tightens Seme border against smuggling at Yuletide
• Generates N5.3b in 10 months
With the festive period around the corner, the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), Seme Command, has warned smugglers to steer clear of the border route, adding that it is ready to ensure that no contraband passes through the Lagos-Abidjan Corridor,
Customs Area Controller, Mohammed Aliyu, also warned that anybody arrested in connection with illicit trade would be made to face the full wrath of the law.
Aliyu, assessing the Command’s performance in the last 10 months, said it generated about N5.3billion from January to October, despite the challenges of drastic downturn in economic activities through the Lagos -Abidjan corridor, saying it performed creditably in the face of many challenges inhibiting its performance.
Aliyu disclosed that the feat was achieved with the cooperation of his officers and men, whose resilience and doggedness could not be compromised in implementing the policy of the Federal Government ban on the importation of rice and vehicles through the land borders.
“With the adoption of a more inclusive approach in the fight against smuggling activities, the collaborative effort with other relevant security agencies and the stakeholders has led to a tremendous result of decline in smuggling activities and increase in revenue generation.
“The anti-smuggling unit of the Command made a total of 469 seizures with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N508million for the period under review,” adding that intensified and aggressive anti-smuggling operations led to drastic reduction in revenue leakages, and curbing cross border crimes perpetrated through the land border.
Reiterating the sustenance of the fight against smuggling, he revealed that the Command also arrested about 23 suspects undergoing different stages of investigation and prosecution, with one person convicted.
Meanwhile, Aliyu said the Command generated about N678million as in October, while 123 seizures were made with a duty paid value (DPV) of N184million, noting that these are a confirmation that smuggling through Seme border have been combated to the barest minimum.
The seized items range from fairly used vehicles, rice, second hand clothing, shoes, frozen poultry products, among others.
Commenting further on the movement of goods through the ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme (ETLS), which was adopted to promote regional trade and integration, Aliyu expressed the Command’s commitment to the implementation of extant laws regarding transit scheme, saying no import good meant to pay duty is allowed to pass through the ECOWAS scheme.
He stressed that the rule of origin and the enterprise list were strictly used to ensure that infractions to evade duty through false declaration are avoided, while legitimate ECOWAS goods within the West Africa sub-region are facilitated through the scheme.
For the period under review, the ECOWAS compliant goods with CIF value of N11.1billion were cleared through the corridor, while the one per cent comprehensive import supervision scheme fee amounted to N111million with revenue loss of N3.1billion.
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