• Sun. Jul 14th, 2024

Customs Records Seizures Worth Over N1.8 Billion, 16 Trailer Loads Of Foreign Rice, Drugs, Others In 8 Months

Byadmin

Sep 8, 2023


The Seme Border Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) made N1,904,459, 390.77 revenue between January 23 and September 8, 2023, which represents 97.2% of N1,960,000,000 allotted target for the year. This shows an increase of 51.98% from the N885,543,098.11 made in the corresponding period for 2022.

The Customs Area Controller (CAC), Comptroller Dera Nnadi mni, who made this known while briefing Maritime Reporters on the activities of his Command for the period under review in Badagry today, said the achievement was a result of painstaking efforts made in partnership with stakeholders.

You may recall that in its anti-smuggling efforts, the Command made a headline seizures of fake six million US dollars equivalent to N2.7 billion naira. This is in addition to other notable seizures recorded between January and August 2023.

The Duty Paid Value (DPV) for items seized for the period of January to September 8 2023 is 1,827, 362, 619. 00.

They include: 6,569 of 50kg bags of rice equivalent to 16 trailer loads of foreign parboiled rice with a DPV of N312,242, 064.93k; 13,835 x 30 liters Jerrycans of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) equivalent to 415,050 liters or 13 petroleum tankers with Duty Paid Value of 738,276, 461k and 15,389 of general merchandise goods.

Hard Drugs and Narcotics: 41 parcels of Cannabis Sativa; 4,900 Tablets 225mg of Tramadol Tamol-X; 3,600 Tablets 225mg Tramadol Royal 225; 157 Tablets of Heineken Ecstacy, and 864 Packs of Cigarette.

Similarly, operatives of the Command acting on credible intelligence intercepted 1,364 of 30 liters jerrycans of PMS equivalent to 40,800 litres over one tanker load with a DPV of N24,663,355 at the early hours of Friday, September 8, along the Badagry Coast.

According to the Area Controller, Comptroller Dera Nnadi mni, Seme Command advantageously lies on the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor (ALCO) which connects Lagos-Cotonou-Lomé-Accra-Abidjan, but noted that the region is yet to maximise this advantage.

He said: “The significance of the corridor as an economic, cultural and political platform for regional integration of West Africa cannot be over emphasised.

With a population of over 350 million people, the corridor and Command accounts for about 70 per cent of the transit traffic in the ECOWAS sub-region”

“The route is also a component of the Lagos-Kano-Jibiya (LAKAJI) corridor which extends from Lagos through Ogun, Oyo, Kwara, Niger, Kaduna, Kano, Jigawa and Kastina states in Nigeria. The LAKAJI corridor compliments the trade route from Abidjan through Cotonou to Niamey and even to Libya and Egypt.

Nnadi stated that the Seme Area Command is the platform for the sustenance of the regional integration expected to be driven through the ECOWAS Protocol on the free movement of persons, goods, and services, the implementation of the various trade policies of the sub-region and the continent especially the ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme (ETLS) and the emerging African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

“The objective of the ETLS and AfCFTA is to liberalise trade by abolishing customs duties and fees on imports and exports and the elimination of non-tariff barriers among member states. It is intended to achieve unhindered market access to the countries of the sub-region. Seme Area Command has worked assiduously to ensure that the region optimises this expectation.

“Among the trade blocks in Africa, the ECOWAS region has a population of 428.6 million people and ranks second in Africa after East Africa region with a population of 474.9 million people. It is expected that the potential inherent in this advantageous position will be translated to increased trade among countries of the ECOWAS subregion especially between Nigeria and the Republic of Benin with a combined population of nearly 250 million people.

“Sadly, ECOWAS ranks fourth at 10 per cent when it comes to trade within the African Continent. Southern African Development Community (SADC) with a population of 69.2 million people ranks first in trading among themselves at 32.12 percent, Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) at 20.32 per cent, and Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD) at 16.59 per cent.

“This is an indication that the ECOWAS region is yet to maximize the gains of ETLS. Again, this underscores the level of our limited preparedness for the African Continental Fre Trade Area (AfCFTA).

“Several factors have been adjudged to hamper trade (between Nigeria and her proximate neighbour) within the sub-region especially transit trade across the countries and along the corridor. There have been several complaints by operators against the closure of the borders, the non-adherence to transit agreements signed under the ECOWAS, World Trade Organisation (WTO), World Customs Organisation (WCO) and the General Agreement on Trade and Tariff”.

“Upon my assumption of duty on the 23 of January, 2023, I pledged to adopt new strategies to boost trade while enforcing the nation’s anti-smuggling laws along the Abidjan Lagos Corridor (ALCO) in line with the ECOWAS protocols on free movement of goods and persons.

“I also promised along with officers and men to encourage compliant traders along the corridor bearing in mind the challenges of the JBP as one that is still recovering from the effects of the border closure. We have kept faith with that as will be explained in due course.

‘It is important to note that the Nigeria 2022 Fiscal Policy Measures by the Federal Ministry of Finance lifted the ban on export of goods imported into Nigeria hitherto prohibited under item 8 Schedule 6 of the Common External Tariff. It is hoped that our stakeholders take full advantage of this gesture while our brothers from other countries in the sub-region particularly the Republic of Benin will reciprocate this gesture where there are existing trade barriers.

“It is gratifying to note that the CGC and the government of both countries and the stakeholders are all on the same page regarding the need to improve our relationship with a view to maximize the opportunities offered by the proximity of our two countries to the border and develop trade along the corridor”.

The anti-smuggling czar disclosed that in line with the Service’s dictate of encouraging its personnels, the Officers and Men of the Command that were involved in the seizures of fake $6,000,000 currency, 15 fake international passports and 10 Driver’s license, and that of Donkey skins in January have been commended by the Ag. Comptroller-General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi.

He presented the commendation and congratulatory letters from the Command to the beneficiaries today.

Comptroller Nnadi appreciated the CGC for his support to the Command, as well as the Seme Badagry Community for their cooperation and to officers and men of the Command for their gallantry and patriotism.

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