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Customs FOU vows to curb smuggling, revenue loss in South-West

By Adaku Onyenucheya
11 October 2021   |   3:28 am
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone A, has reiterated its resolve to continually suppress smuggling and prevent loss of government revenue through seaports....

[FILES] Customs

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone A, has reiterated its resolve to continually suppress smuggling and prevent loss of government revenue through seaports, airports, land borders and warehouses across the South-West.

Acting Controller of the unit, Hussein Ejibunu, restated this following a recent complaint by a section of the Licensed Customs Agents and Freight Forwarders about the presence of operatives of the unit along the ports access corridor.

Ejibunu, in a statement signed, yesterday, by the Unit’s Public Relations Officer, Theophilus Duniya, stated that flawless compliance by importers, agents and freight forwarders is a major contributor in achieving seamless cargo movement across the unit’s areas of coverage.

According to him, FOU Zone A will never compromise national security and economic interests on the alter of trade facilitation by either allowing dangerous goods to pass unchecked or leaving consignments that have not paid full Customs Duty to leave without collecting the shortfalls through demand notices.

He said only persons or companies that have things to hide or have breached sections of the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) should be worried about the presence of the FOU Zone A officers anywhere they are seen.

“Traders or importers, who are not dealing in contraband or absolute prohibitions and have paid the right duty without attempting to falsely declare, under-declare or conceal to smuggle, should go about their businesses normally. These categories of persons have nothing to worry about because we are not after them,” he stated.

Acting Controller of FOU, said that barely a month of his resumption, all containers and trucks brought to the unit in the course of operations were justifiably intercepted either as seizures or found to have evaded full duty payment.

He said some were also discovered to have concealed bags of rice under cement, a situation that could endanger consumers of such food commodity.

On the allegation of corruption against some Customs officers, the acting controller promised to look into it and take appropriate action against anyone found wanting.

He said FOU would continue to serve as one of the layers of checks and defence against infractions as approved by the management of the NCS in line with extant laws.