By Chinonye Anyatonwu
The Strike Force Team ‘A’ of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has seized foreign parboiled rice, bales of used clothes, petroleum products, smuggled vehicles, pump action riffles and other contraband goods with a cumulative Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N390,198,000.
In the area of revenue, it generated a total of N748,679,337 thorough documentary checks and issuance of demand notices on consignments that were found to have been short-paid.
The Zonal Coordinator, Comptroller Generals Strike Force Team ‘A’, Deputy Comptroller Mohammed Sani Yusuf, while briefing Newsmen in Lagos said that his team has remained resolute in enforcing Customs extant laws, as they continue to suppress smuggling and prevent revenue loss within the Southwest Region.
According to him: “In the course of enforcing these laws, recalcitrant importers and traders were either made to pay the maximum duty payable, through the issuance of demand notices or made to forfeit their goods to the Federal Government by way of seizing them”
You may recall that foreign tomato paste, used clothing, importation of vehicles through the land borders, used tyres, arms and ammunition without end-user certificates among others, are all import prohibition which threatens our collective economy”.
DC Yusuf explained that illicit goods imported into the country with their attending effects mostly end up in homes, causing a wide range of issues ranging from social to psychological crises.
In his words: “The seizures recorded within the period under review are: 1,500 (50kg) bags of foreign parboiled rice, 839 bales of used clothes, 3,525 litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), 900 bags of cement used to conceal rice, 1,670 Mumrite tomato paste, 500 Mumrite Sardine, smuggled vehicles, one pump action, one locally fabricated pistol and 14 live cartridges.
“Efforts at ensuring that local industries are protected from unhealthy foreign competition and other forms of social security require a strong partnership between operatives and members of the public in areas of information sharing and moral support”
While expressing sadness at the length Nigerian importers go to evade paying Customs duties, he advised non-compliant traders to desist from trying to cut corners, especially during the busy ember months, as they risk the full wrath of the law when caught.
According to the Zonal Coordinator: “It is sad to note that some Nigerians would pay all duties and levies payable to the Customs authorities of other countries they import from, while on the other hand, they make conscious efforts to evade such payments into the federal coffers.
“As we are in the last quarter of the year; approaching the yuletide period, where recalcitrant traders and importers quest to make more profits through smuggling is at its peak. I would use this opportunity to appeal to importers and agents to be patriotic by making sincere declarations, and pay their duties accurately.
“Let me use this medium to warn none compliant traders to desist from such; because we have strategically mobilized, and deployed our personnel to do the needful”, he stated.
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