Customs intercepts 31 containers of rice over false declaration
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Tin-Can Island Command has intercepted 31 containers with 14,000 bags of rice valued at over N71 million.The Deputy Comptroller-General of Customs in charge of Enforcement, Dan Ugo, who paraded the seized cargoes in Lagos, said that a company named, Destiny Limited made false declaration, thereby attempting to defraud the Federal Government.
He said: “Rice importation through seaports is not prohibited but the agent claimed in the manifest that he imported 31 containers of yeast.“Our duty to government is to ensure compliance and any defaulting agent will bear the consequences, which is already stated in the laws guiding Customs operations,” he said.
He said that the yeast claimed to be imported by the agent attracted five per cent duty, while the agent was trying to cut corners and shortchange government, adding that comparing the duty to be paid with that of yeast was a big loss to government.
Commenting on the same issue, the Deputy Comptroller-General, Administration and Discipline, Alhaji Iya Abubakar, said that the era of importers engaging in false declaration and hoping to escape Customs clearance was over.
He therefore urged importers and agents to stop the criminal act of short-changing the government.Abubakar pledged the commitment of Customs to searching the containers thoroughly to confirm that the goods were all rice and not other things, noting that Customs had once intercepted a container having ammunitions and was declared as toys.
The Zonal Coordinator, Zone ‘A’ of NCS, Assistant Comptroller-General Eporwei Edike, urged importers to feel free to bring rice through Nigerian ports only with honest declaration to fast track cargo clearance.
Edike explained that honest declaration would not give room for containers to accumulate demurrage.The Customs Area Controller, Tin-Can Island Customs Command, Comptroller Yusuf Bashar, said that the affected importer was not on customs fast track provision.
Bashar said that investigation was ongoing to arrest the agent involved in the consignment, adding that the rice consignment was imported from China.Meanwhile, the Public Relations Officer, NCS, Wale Adeniyi said it generated N385.7 billion revenue from January to June this year.
This was against the N438.2 billion generated in the same period in 2015.Adeniyi said the service generated N197.7 billion from import duties in cash and generated N203 million from import duty in non-cash receipts as Negotiable Duty Credit Certificate (NDCC).
He said N21.876 billion was generated from excise duty; N910. 995 million from fees; N41. 418 billion from federation account levies and N49. 357 billion from non-federation accounts levies.
Adeniyi said the service generated N74. 282 billion from Value Added Tax (VAT) during the period.He said the decrease of N525.5 million in the revenue generated was due to economic recession.
“Access to foreign exchange and the drastic fall in the value of naira have also affected the service’s revenue generation,” he said.