By Chiazo Ogbolu
Lagos, Jan. 14, 2021 The Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone ‘A’ of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) on Thursday said that it seized smuggled items worth N20,897,563,880. 08 between January and December, 2020.
The Acting Controller, Deputy Comptroller Usman Yahaya, stated this in a statement he made available to newsmen in Lagos on Thursday.
He said, “The Federal Operations Unit Zone ‘A’ of the Nigeria Customs Service, is a unit that compliments the Area Commands through interventions as part of its mandate; to patrol, intercept suspected smuggled items and access warehouses suspected to be used by smugglers and duty evaders. ’’
According to him, as an anti-smuggling unit, we remain resolute to the course of protecting the nation’s security and economy.
“In remaining uncompromising in the fight against smuggling, duty evasion and other offences that contravene different sections of the extant laws; the following goods were seized among others within the period under review.
“ A total of 31,129 of 50kg bags of foreign rice, 11,290 cartons of foreign poultry products, 3,562kg of Indian Hemp, 9,801 kegs of 25 litres each of vegetable oil, 560 units of used vehicles, 24,612 pieces of used tyres among others worth a total of N20,897,553,880.08,” he said.
Yahaya noted that in the course of the unit’s operations within the period under review, they had recovered the sum of N1,752,094,037.94 as revenue by identifying shortfalls on duty payments.
He pointed out that the lost revenue was recovered through the issuance of demand notices; sequel to interceptions and documentary checks.
He added that, no consignment or goods on transit would be unjustifiably delayed for as long as there was compliance with the extant guidelines on the procedure for import and export clearance.
“We are totally committed to the course of facilitating legitimate trade,”he said.
He said the feat realised was due to credible information and intelligence gathering, adding that they were soliciting for timely and credible information from patriotic citizens that would assist them carry out their duties with diligence.
“While we remain grateful to our esteemed critical stakeholders and patriotic citizens for their unflinching support, we also appeal to traditional rulers, teachers, religious leaders and parents to urge the youth not to allow themselves to be used by economic saboteurs.
“We shall remain determined at enforcing the Federal Government’s fiscal policies, extant regulations and guidelines on import/export; without fear or favour,” he said.