From Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
The Area Controller, Ogun Area 1 Command of the Nigeria Customs Service, Dera Nnadi, has declared that the command will step up the fight against smugglers and criminal elements who are out to sabotage the economy of the nation.
The Area Controller, who made the declaration while briefing newsmen on the activities of the command in the last 30 days, on Wednesday, in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, equally reiterated that the command would uncover every illegal act of smugglers, make an arrest and inflict financial injury on their ventures.
Nnandi further said that men and officers of the command will not be deterred by the continuous attacks on customs personnel, adding: ‘We are determined more than ever before carry out our anti-smuggling operations without let and hindrance.’
He expressed optimism that the 10 units of brand new operation vans just handed over to the command would give a boost to its anti-smuggling operations.
Nnadi said that Ogun 1 Area Command seized 7,311 bags of 50kg foreign parboiled rice, which is equivalent to 12 trailer loads and 365.55 metric tonnes of prohibited rice, in one month.
He noted that if such a quantity of rice was allowed into the country, it would jeopardise the rice policy of the federal government.
Other seizures made by the command, according to the customs controller, include 12 kegs of 25 litres of vegetable oil; 20 units of means of conveyance (used vehicles); used clothes, four bales of 25kg; 26 sacks of used shoes; 124 sacks (book size) and 165 (coconut size) of cannabis sativa weighing 637kg; two bundles of used tyres and four rims; 831 kegs of 25ltrs of PMS; 810 cartons of frozen poultry products and fours sacks of used toys.
He said the cumulative Duty Paid Value (DPV) for all the seizures is estimated at N172,999, 387 million naira.
On revenue generation, Nnadi disclosed that a total of N2,437,050, being proceeds of auction sales of seized petroleum products and scrap metals, was made by the command during the period under review.
He, however, said his management has met with royal fathers in Ogun with the appeal to help spread the message of anti-smuggling to their subjects, submitting: ‘We are deploying massive intelligence and rules of engagement in all our operations, and this has yielded greater successes being recorded on daily basis without casualties.’
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