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Economy

Customs destroys poisonous “Ponmo” in Seme border

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The Seme Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) on Wednesday burnt the intercepted poisonous animal skin popularly known as “Ponmo” (cow hides) imported into Nigeria.

The Customs Area Controller of the command, Comptroller Muhammad Garba, led the team of Joint Border Agencies to the site where the animal skins were destroyed in Seme, Lagos.

Garba said that the deadly animal skin was intercepted by his men on Lagos-Badagry Expressway.

According to him, the command is going to widen its investigation to ensure that no unhealthy item escape into the country.

Garba added that the Nigeria Customs Service was not limited to revenue generation alone, noting that the command was also fighting against the smuggling and other related vices.

The controller also hand over 146 wraps of cannabis worth N112.4 million to official of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) for destruction.

Speaking, Mr Udotong Essien, the NDLEA Commander, Seme Command, lauded the customs officers for their eagle eyes and professionalism.

Essien attributed the success of the joint border patrol to their synergy and cordial relationship.

Also, Dr Nurudeen Audu, the Coordinator, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Seme Command, commended the Customs Service, for suppressing smuggling and facilitating legitimate trade.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the destruction of poisonous skin and hand over of cannabis were witnessed by official of Port Health Services.

Defence/Security

Customs seizes smuggled items worth N253m in Kebbi

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The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) in Kebbi has seized  various smuggled items valued at N253 million betweem February and May.

The Kebbi Area Comptroller of Customs, Yusuf Garba, made the disclosure at a press briefing in Birnin Kebbi on Wednesday.

He said that the command recorded giant strides in its anti-smuggling operations in the state from Feb.10 to May 10.

Given the position of Kebbi State which shares borders with two of our neighbors, Niger Republic to the West and Benin Republic to the South, the command is mainly saddled with anti- smuggling activities especially that our land borders are partially closed.

“We have recorded giant strides in our anti-smuggling activities culminating in the seizure of 22,750 pieces of new textile materials; four truckloads of hides and skins as well as 1,055 bags of 50 kg, 50 bags of 100kg and 20 cartons of 25kg all of foreign rice.

Others are, 3,159 bags of 50kg of foreign NPK fertiliser, 171 bales of second-hand clothes and used foot wears,  256 cartons of lightening cream, 90 sacks of power snuff, 43 vehicles and other sundry items,” he said.

According to him, the Duty Paid Value of the seized items is N253 million.

Garba also added that the command had seized 73,438 litres of petroleum products at different locations meant to be smuggled out of the country within the period under review.

“Owing to the combustible nature of the products, they have since been auctioned to the public along with other perishable items with the proceeds amounting to N16.5 million remitted to the Federal Government’s coffers, in accordance with extant laws,” he said.

The comptroller reiterated the command’s stand on zero tolerance for smuggling activities while calling on the economic saboteurs to embrace legitimate business opportunities which abound in the state. .


Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Ejike Obeta (NAN)

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Economy

Customs intercept N1.2b cannabis on Lagos waters

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Operatives of the Western Marine Command of Nigeria Customs Service(NCS) have intercepted drugs suspected to be Cannabis Sativa valued at N1,002,050,000 during a seagoing patrol on Lagos waters.

The Controller of the command, Comptroller Olugboyega Peters, revealed this in a statement in Lagos on Thursday.

Peters described the seizure as the “largest single seizure” of such drug on the waters in the history of the Nigeria Customs.

He said that his men relied on intelligence and carried out round the clock surveillance for a period of three days before swooping on the target area where the seizure was made.

According to him, the suspected smugglers seen from afar with the drugs dived into water to escape upon sighting customs officers approaching to make the seizure.

“The drugs were suspected to be coming from Ghana and had passed other countries by water before getting to Shashi area of Lagos where it was seized.

“Since no suspect was arrested in connection with the seizure, it will be liable to destruction in collaboration with relevant government agencies like National Drug Law Enforcement Agency and the Nigeria Police,” he said.

Peters said that the command had achieved 39 seizures within the first four months of the year, which is higher than 12 seizures made within the same period of 2019.

He said that the command made seizures with a total duty paid value of N1,063,427,800 which was higher than DPV of N36,420,481.46 achieved within the same period of last year.

He listed the breakdown of the 2020 seizures made so far as 1,816 bags of rice valued at N38,134,375; 733 cartons of poultry products worth N7,421,625; and 104 bales of second hand clothing worth N4,393,400.

The also include 665 bales of textile materials worth N2,094,400 and 112 kegs of 25 litre petroleum products valued at N112,000.

Other seizures listed are, 25 bales of second hand shoes and belts worth N8,019,000; 25 cartons of chewing gum worth N1,203,000 and the unprecedented seizure of cannabis

The Comptroller attributed the seizure recorded to the renewed spirit of work amongst officers and men of the command to achieve the Comptroller General of Customs strategic plan of zero tolerance to smuggling.

He also attributed it to high level of intelligence gathering and enhanced customs community relations.

Peters said this was in addition to close collaboration with other government agencies like the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Nigerian Navy, Nigeria Police, among others.

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)

 

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Defence/Security

Oyo/Osun command of Customs generates N20bn, makes 72 seizures

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The Oyo/Osun Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) on Tuesday said it generated N20 billion and made 72 seizures between January and April.

The Comptroller in charge of the command, Mrs Uche Ngozi, disclosed this in Ibadan while briefing newsmen on the achievements recorded in  the first quarter of 2020.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the seized items included 3,465 bags of 50kg foreign rice, 180 bales of second hand clothings ,13 kg of 25 litres each of vegetable oil, 44 gallons of four litres of vegetable oil, 20 units of used tyres as well as cars and trucks.

The comptroller further said that 63 persons were arrested in connection with the smuggled goods.

She said that the command also intercepted  310 drums and 180 kegs of 25 litres of petrol at different points and axis of the command.

The seized petrol, she said, would be auctioned and the proceeds remitted accordingly.

“We are aware that NCS is very strategic in the sustenance of the nation’s economy at this critical stage of economic down turn, hence maximum revenue generation is paramount in the heart of the  NCS Comptroller General, retired Col. Hameed Ali.

“It is a fact that the fight against smuggling of prohibited items is so essential in reducing the menace of insecurity  and saving our nation’s industries.

“As a service, we are concerned about the general well-being of the nation at large  and as such regret the current  health crisis of coronavirus pandemic

NCS has worked tirelessly  through these difficult months of dealing with COVID-19 and ensured that borders are secured and smuggling activities reduced to the barest minimum,” she said.

The comptroller said the command would continue to sharpen its intelligence  and enforcement capabilities to fight smuggling and enforce compliance with extant laws and procedures.

She commended traditional rulers, community leaders and other stakeholders for providing an enabling environment for the officers to function properly.

(
Edited By: Edith Bolokor/Mufutau Ojo) (NAN)

 

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Economy

Customs operations hinders ease of doing business, says NECA

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The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) says incessant obstruction caused by the Nigeria Customs Service are hindering the ease of doing business by the manufacturing companies.

Its Director-General, Mr Timothy Olawale, said in a statement on Monday that such act was jeopardising the Federal Government’s efforts at promoting ease of doing business in Nigeria.

Olawale said: “This is the time when all hands must be on deck to promote local enterprise competitiveness and prevent jobs losses.

“It is a known fact that the world economy is on the precipice with nations doing all that is necessary to keep their productive sector going.

“Recent incessant issues with the Nigeria Customs Service have become worrisome as it has the potential to push businesses off the cliff.

“This will fast-track the demise of more enterprises and exacerbating the current unemployment situation in Nigeria,” he said.

The director-general urged the Federal Government to call men of the custom services to order.

He said that Customs operatives were obstructing legitimate businesses through inconsistent and arbitrary tariff classification, excessive and unfriendly duty rate on key raw materials without local substitute.

Olawale said that other blockages include improper valuation of consignments and reckless interception of containers after legitimate clearance, among others.

He said: “While the Customs Service is desirous of meeting its revenue target, it should not be at the expense of legitimate businesses.

“With the Africa Continental Free Trade Area coming into effect Jan. 1, 2021, these recurring issues will only destroy Nigerian businesses.

“It will also make importation of manufactured goods more attractive with grave consequences for Nigeria and Nigerians as a whole.”

————-

Edited By: Olawunmi Ashafa/Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)

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Economy

Customs Command at Tin-Can Port generates N117.8bn revenue in 4 months

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The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Tin-Can Island Port Command, Lagos, generated N117.8 billion between January and April 2020, by deploying Time Release Study (TRS) tool to aid trade facilitation and revenue generation.

The Customs Area Controller (CAC), Comptroller Musa Abdullahi, made this known in Lagos on Friday in a statement signed by the command’s Public Relations Officer, Mr Uche Ejesieme.

Abdullahi said that the tool had enabled the command to generate the revenue in the first quarter of the year.

According to him, the Time Release Study tool was beefed up for strategic planning in determining the actual time required for the release and clearance of goods, right from the time of arrival to physical release from Customs’ Control.

Abdullahi said that Time Release Study was a strategic tool that was capable of identifying bottlenecks in the trade value chain and creating an enabling environment for effectiveness and efficiency in operations.

“It is on the strength of this and other parameters that the command generated a total of N117, 839, 418, 332.16 between January and April in spite of the global pandemic which has posed a great challenge.

“The figure is against the sum of N106,644,643,917.25 generated same period in 2019, reflecting a difference of N11,194,774,414.91,’’ he said.

The controller responded to issues bothering on challenges amidst the COVID-19.

He reiterated the readiness of the command to ensure adherence and compliance with the extant protocols by Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and World Health Organisation (WHO) toward containing the spread of the virus.

Abdullahi noted that prior to the declaration of the virus as a pandemic disease, the command had conducted series of seminars and awareness campaign, targeted at sensitising the officers/men as well as stakeholders on measures to adopt in dealing with the menace.

According to him, these measures will be sustained even after the postCOVID-19 era.

“Even at the onset of this pandemic when pressure, anxiety and general apprehension was the order of the day, the command demonstrated resilience, sagacity and compassion in its approach to the novel pandemic.

“Such that tension was reduced from the psyche of the operatives with confidence inspired that enabled them to attend to their functions without let or hindrance.

“With this pandemic, the command will upscale her sensitisation on the need for Nigerians to fully take advantage of the operations in export trade, especially at this moment when it has become compelling for diversification of the economy for national development,” the controller said.

Abdullahi said that with the Time Release Study tool, the command had generated statistical data on the actual time declarations were made, up till the time of release from Customs’ Control.

He noted that it was on the basis of this that the command realised that the NCS was only involved in two major functions in the Trade Value Chain – Examination and Release of Cargo from Customs’ Control.

He pointed out that the commitment of the command necessitated the need to work assiduously toward ensuring that all operational bottlenecks were removed from the value chain for effectiveness and efficiency in accordance with global standards.

“The command will continue to support and encourage the culture of compliance with fiscal and monetary policies, while also rewarding compliant traders.

“We have developed a framework and different layers for channelling of official complaints, including the Help Desk for speedy resolution of trade disputes.

“Efforts are also being made to ensure continuous `Stakeholder Engagement’ and collaboration for the actualisation of the joint responsibilities of creating a friendly business environment that will encourage trade and investments as well as boost the morale of stakeholders,” Abdullahi said.

The controller noted that in spite of the few challenges mitigating against performance, the command would not `let its guards down’ in the pursuance of its official mandate.

He appreciated the support and counsel from the Customs management led by Retired Col. Hameed Ali and his management.

The controller applauded the renewed enthusiasm of the officers and men which was reflected in the operational profile of the command.

He commended heads of security and regulatory agencies in the port for their consistent efforts in supporting the command in realising its statutory mandate.

Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)

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Economy

Customs seizes 1,553 smuggled items worth N17.6bn in Q1

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The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has seized 1,553 various smuggled items of Duty Paid Valued at N17.6 billion in the first quarter (Q1) of 2020 across all its commands.

This is made known in a statistics obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria from the Customs’ Public Relations Officer, Mr Joseph Attah, in Abuja on Thursday.

It explained that in January, 465 different contraband items worth N2.5 billion duty paid were seized.

According to the statistics, 659 items of duty paid valued at N14.5 billion were seized in February across all the Customs’ commands.

It stated that in March, 429 various seized smuggled items worth N545.8 million were also confiscated by officers and men of the service.

Attah assured that the service would sustain its anti-smuggling operations and support activities at boosting non-oil revenue for national development.

Edited By: Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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Defence/Security

Customs command in Kwara generates N1.6bn in 3 months

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The Kwara Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service on Wednesday said it generated N1.69 billion in three months.

The figure was released in a statement signed by Mr Zakari Chado, the Public Relations Officer of the Kwara Area Command, and made available to newsmen in Ilorin.

Chado said that the command had been uncompromising on its mandate of enforcing legitimate trade and trade facilitation among local industries.

He also said that the command had encouraged stakeholders to make prompt payment of import and excise duties to the federation account.

“The Kwara Area Command under the leadership of Comptroller Ahmed Bello generated the sum of N1, 696, 018, 694 at the end of first quarter, despite the lull occasioned by the Coronavirus pandemic,” he said in the statement.

The spokesman further said that the amount generated represented 21 percent of the command’s annual target of N8,038, 000, 000.

“The breakdown of the amount generated monthly is January – N1, 006, 901, 647, February – N332, 272, 223 and March – N365, 844, 823, which sum up to N1, 696, 018, 694.

“Comptroller Ahmed is also vigorously pursuing the Comptroller General of Customs’ zero tolerance for duty evasion and smuggling

” He has been reviving proficiency with regards to identifying and blocking all possible avenues of revenue leakages and enhancing capacity building in the areas of modern customs operation,” he said.

He added that the comptroller had been reinforcing the commitment of officers and men in the discharge of their statutory responsibilities and ensuring disciplinary actions were taken against erring personnel.

Chado also stated that there would be continuous sensitisation of stakeholders on the need to comply with extant laws governing customs and excise activities.

(
Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Mufutau Ojo) (NAN)

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Economy

Customs intercepts vehicle smuggling poultry products into Ogun, N12.7bn worth contraband – Q1 Report

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The Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), has intercepted a vehicle with COVID-19 sticker used to smuggled frozen chicken from Benin Republic into the country.

The Customs Area Controller (CAC) of the unit, Usman Yahaya, disclosed this in a statement by the Public Relations Officer, Mr Jerry Attah, in Lagos on Tuesday.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the FOU A is the anti-smuggling arm of the Nigeria Customs Service, and it is saddled with the responsibility of suppressing smuggling in the six states of the South-West.

The area controller said that its officers intercepted the vehicle, which was travelling under the guise of essential duty, smuggling cartons of frozen chicken into the country from Benin Republic.

He said that the vehicle was arrested along Ijebu-Ode Expressway.

“The vehicle was intercepted based on intelligence and the eagle eye of officers who were on routine patrol at the axis.

The officers were professional enough to intercept the vehicle,  which was believed to be used in the movement of essential commodities, but were surprised to see that it was used for illegal activities such as movement of contraband.

“We have arrested the vehicle and investigation has commenced to get to the root and unravel other atrocities that may have been committed using the essential duty tag,” the controller said.

However, speaking on the activities of the command in the first quarter of the year, the CAC said contraband worth N12.7 billion were intercepted from smugglers between January to April 2020.

According to him, the unit paid N1.14 billion into the Federal Government’s Treasury Single Account from Debit Notes (DN) on intercepted containers from Lagos Seaports, voluntary payment of customs duty on vehicles, auction sales from PMS among others.

Giving a breakdown of the seizures, Yahaya said that 25 units of fairly used vehicles worth N108 million, 5,644 cartons of frozen chicken worth N54.1 million were intercepted in the first quarter of the year.

Others, he listed as: 9,843 bags of 50kg smuggled parboiled rice worth N130.4 million and sacks of textile materials worth N94 million were all seized in the period under review.

The FOU boss added that N14 million worth of used tyres, 3,764 kegs of smuggled vegetables oil worth N69.2 million, and 8,365 litres of smuggled Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) also known as Petrol and Diesel also known as AGO worth N35 million were seized.

He said that the unit would not relent on its anti-smuggling fight, especially at this time when the government was preaching diversification into the agricultural sector due to the fall in price of oil in the international market.

“We will ensure that smuggling is reduced to the barest minimum and we will not allow it to fester as that can be injurious to our economy and wellbeing as a country,” Yahaya said.

Edited By: Oluyinka Fadare/Felix Ajide (NAN)

 

 

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Foreign

Dubai, Saudi customs discuss stronger trade amid COVID-19 outbreak

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Dubai Customs and Saudi Customs on Tuesday agreed on further trade cooperation and arrangements to develop customs procedures in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the official WAM news agency reported.

In a video meeting between Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, director general of Dubai Customs, and Ahmed Alhakbani, governor of Saudi Customs, they discussed lessons from the coronavirus experience which has led to coming up with innovative customs approaches and procedures.

Mutual trade between Dubai and Saudi Arabia reached 12 billion UAE dirhams (3.27 billion U.S. dollars) in the first quarter in 2020, said the report.

“Our regular meetings with customs organizations in brotherly and friendly countries are part of our endeavors to mitigate any impacts of coronavirus on the global supply chain,” said Musabih.

(XINHUA)

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