Nigeria: The Nigeria Customs Service, Kebbi Area Command, said it had generated N38,198,068.9 for the month of August.
Speaking to Newsmen at a press briefing, the Customs Area Controller, Comptroller Joseph Attah, said the Command also made seizures of assorted illicit items with a total Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N61,559,568.09 in the same month. He said one suspect was arrested in connection with the seizures but was later granted administrative bail.
Comptroller Attah disclosed that the seizures made from the Command’s enforcement activities for the period under review include: 389 wraps of cannabis Sativa (Laptop sized); 824 jerry cans (25 litres each), amounting to 20,600 litres of Petroleum Motor Spirit (PMS); 75 bags of foreign fertilizer (23 bags of 50kg and 52 bags of 25kg, respectively) and 22 bags of foreign parboiled rice (50kg each).
Others are 128 bales of secondhand clothing; 22 jerry cans of vegetable oil (25 litres each), one used Toyota Corolla vehicle; 54 bags of sugar (50kg each) and eight out boat engines (local canoes).
The CAC noted that the Command heightened its anti-smuggling offensive against smugglers as well as engaged in strategic meetings with traditional, political and youth leaders with a view to gaining mutual understanding and compliance.
He said that while its anti-smuggling operations resulted in seizures and arrests, stakeholder engagements resulted in some modest achievements in revenue generation.
Comptroller Attah said that, while other seizures have economic consequences, cannabis Sativa has grave security and health implications that are better imagined than experienced.
He reiterated the Command’s determination to bring criminal trans-border trade actors to book while also calling on the business community to take advantage of the reopened Kamba border to do their trans-border businesses.
“We remain resolute on our determination to bring criminal trans-border trade actors to their kneels in this Command.
“We continue to call on the business community to take advantage of the reopened Kamba border to do their trans-border businesses. Passing or attempting to pass goods through any other border in Kebbi State apart from Kamba is still illegal as the Federal Government policy on border closure remains in force”.
The CAC lamented the emerging challenges faced by the Command in its anti-smuggling operations; with some people signalling to smugglers, he warned the youths to desist from such acts, as anyone arrested would be prosecuted.
“Our intelligence revealed that many youths are turning to inform smugglers about the movement of officers to evade arrest as means of livelihood. This action violates Section 77 of the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) Cap C45 LFN. 2004, which prescribes two (2) years imprisonment and forfeiture of apparatus used in passing or signalling such information.
“Such unpatriotic act sabotages and tries to frustrate officers’ efforts to effectively police and interdict improper bringing or taking out of items that might affect National Economy and Security. Thankfully, interventions of some traditional rulers and other opinion leaders arising from our sensitization efforts are beginning to yield positive results.
“While we continue to appreciate our leaders for their tireless support for the Command, we will not hesitate to remind the general public, especially those “hired” and positioned at strategic locations to monitor our movements for the information of their paymasters that they are against the interest of the Nation. Section 77 of CEMA awaits them when arrested”, he explained.
The Area Controller further stated that the Command is redoubling efforts to facilitate legitimate trade and poised to make smuggling unprofitable in the Ember months.
As we step into the Ember months, Kebbi Area Command is redoubling its efforts to facilitate legitimate trade while poised to make smuggling unprofitable through the Command.
“We, therefore, call on all people of goodwill to co-operate with us to enable us to serve better”.