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Border Closure Review: Benefits still outweigh losses — Shippers Council



Border Closure Review Shippers Council

Border Closure Review: Benefits still outweigh losses — Shippers Council

Against the backdrop of the deviation of freight to ports of other West African countries following the closure of Nigeria’s borders, the Nigerian Shippers Council, NSC, has disclosed that a new Border Closure Review review meeting has concluded that the benefit of the closure so far outweighs the losses.

According to Source, some stakeholders in West African traders who hitherto come to Nigeria to buy imported goods and transport the same through the land borders have now started importing directly through their own ports adding that most of them are Nigerian citizens.

They also said Nigerian importers have started shipping their goods directly to the customers in other West African countries through those seaports causing considerable loss of cargo throughput to Nigeria’s ports in favor of other West African ports.


But speaking with Source on the development, Executive Secretary of the NSC, Hassan Bello, said from the outcome of the policy review meeting involving the private sector, Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, and others, the policy has helped to save the nation’s industries, especially the agro sub-sector of the economy.

He pointed out that the high rate of smuggling as a result of the porous borders placed unfair competition on Nigerian industries since factors of production oversees make goods produced there cheaper.

According to him, “There have been more gains for the country after the closure of the border. We recently held a stakeholders forum where we brought the private sector and the Customs to explain the border closure policy.

In trade facilitation, we need to save our industries, especially agro-based products because of our porous borders.

“For every smuggled item, it means we are not giving fair competition to our producers because the cost of production is cheaper there than in Nigeria.

So this takes our people out of business and we will be faced with growing unemployment. “Although there are some problems that we need to address but there are some which we have a comparative advantage here that we need to source here than in foreign countries.

“The border is porous, we need to tighten it against smuggling and dumping but there will be a time when you will say you are opening your border.

However, technology must be deployed to curb smuggling. “Issues like Cargo Tracking Note, CTN, contactless port/border post; technology will solve a lot of these problems.”

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Customs Corner

FOU Zone ‘A’ Intercepts Live Cartridges Concealed in Cassava Flour



FOU Zone 'A' Intercepts Live Cartridges Concealed in Cassava Flour

The Special Assignment Team of Federal Operations Unit, Zone ‘A’ intercepted three Mazda Saloon cars loaded with cartridges concealed in sacks of cassava flour.

This occurred while officers of the Nigeria Customs Service were on information patrol on Sunday at about 10 pm along Igbora axis of Oyo State.

This is according to a statement released by the Public Relations Officer of the Unit, DSC Theophilus Duniya.

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It was reported that the drivers abandoned their vehicles on sighting the official vehicle.

The items discovered during physical examination in the office included 751 pieces of AAA, 70mm live Lion Cartridges, sacks of cassava flour and sacks of parboiled rice.

However, the vehicles including their contents have been deposited at the station for further investigation.

The Acting Customs Comptroller in Charge of the Unit DC Hussein Ejibunu called on all patriotic citizens to provide useful and timely information that would help in combating smuggling.

He said, “Smuggling is the mother of all crimes hence the need to team up and fight it to the barest minimum”.

“It is an act of sabotage that should not be allowed to fester for a long time, most especially with the security challenges in the country. Information is key and germane towards the fight against this cankerworm called smuggling” he added.


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Customs Corner

Customs Seizes Over 200 Motorcycles From Suspected Bandits in Katsina



The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Katsina Area Command has intercepted 202 motorcycles from suspected bandits in Katsina State between August and September 2021.

The Acting Areq Controller of the s Command, DC Chedi Wada revealed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Katsina.

Chedi said that the motorcycles, mostly Boxers and Jencheng models, were impounded around forests close to border areas.

He said “We suspected that the motorcycles were used for conveyance of petrol, food items and smuggled items to bandits in the forest.

“Most of the people we seized the machines took to their heels and no one came to claim the motorcycles,’’ the controller added.

Wada also said the command is working tirelessly in ensuring that no contraband or illegal item is brought into the country through any of the borders in the state.

He further said that “The fight against banditry, kidnapping, cattle rustling and other forms of crimes and criminal acts in the state and the country in general is a collective effort”.

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Customs Corner

NCS Western Marine Command Intercepts Cannabis Sativa, Expired Drugs, Others Worth Over N1 Billion



The Nigeria Customs Service Western Marine Command has intercepted 232 sacks of Cannabis Sativa also known as Marijuana with an average of 46Kg per sack giving an estimated total weight of 10,672Kg.

The acting Customs Area Controller, DC Enonche Ochiba disclosed during a briefing with the media at the Command that, the Street Value of the Marijuana stood at One Billion, One Hundred and Twenty Million, Five Hundred and Sixty Thousand Naira (N1, 120,560,000.00) only.

Similarly, Operatives of the Command while on Stop and Search operations along the waterways at Pashi of Yekeme axis discovered some powder substances suspected to be heroine concealed in a carton of Indomie noodles. One (1) suspect in connection with the seizure was arrested.

The powder was later sent for laboratory test for analysis and it was certified to be heroin weighing a total of 1.52Kg valued at Forty Million, Eight Hundred and Sixty Thousand, Eight Hundred and Forty One Naira and Two Kobo (N40, 860,841.02k) only.

He also said,a team of patrol while on credible intelligence along Abumbum-Ojo waterways accosted and intercepted sacks suspected to contain drugs.

The sacks were evacuated to the base and upon physical examination, they were found to contain the following drugs that have expired on the 27 April 2017 with the total value of Sixty Two Million, Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand , Seven Hundred and Ninety Four Naira (N 62,252,794.00) only.

The breakdown are:
a. 817 Bottles of B-Vital
b. 1,158 Bottles of Kordy-capsule
c. 3,110 Bottles of Double Ginseng
d. 619 Bottles of Detoxin
e. 607 Bottles of B-care
f. 198 Sachets of Ninhuang Jeedu pian
g. 1,200 Sachets of St Formula
h. 475 Bottles of Apetamin Syrup
i. 7 Bottles of Spinsure Table
j. 17 Bottles of Danshen Plus
k. 7 Bottles of Arthro capsule
l. 13 Bottles of Spinsore Pill
m. 123 Bottles of Chitomeal
n. Bundles of printed labels of Double Ginseng with Batch no. DG 04021 with MFG Date: 29042021 and expiring Date of 28042024.

He states, “the issue of concern on this arrest is that these expired drugs might have found its way into our Nigerian markets if not intercepted by our operatives. The smuggler intend to replace the expired labels with a new labels carrying new manufacturing and expiry date as it can be seen on the bundles of printed labels of Double Ginseng accompanying the seized consignment. The new printed label is carrying 29042021 and 28042024 as manufacturing and expiry date respectively”.

Revealing the unrelenting efforts of the operatives, Ochiba said, while on official patrol the Team intercepted Packs of drugs at Yekeme axis. Upon examination, it was found to contain 45 packs of 225mg Tramadol Hydrochloride Tablets with total value of Nine Hundred and Fifty Four Thousand, Nine Hundred and Thirty Four Naira and Two Kobo (N954,934.02k).

Other seizures made within this period are:
Eight Hundred and Eighty Three (883) Bags of 50Kg Foreign Parboiled Rice, Forty Nine (49) Sacks of Used Shoes, Forty Four (44) Sacks of New Shoes, 245 Kegs x 25ltrs of PMS, One (1) 40Hp Yamaha outboard engine.
Six (6) Bales and Three (3) Sacks of Second hand clothing and bags.

In a related development, on Friday 9 July 2021; the Nigerian Navyship Beecroft handed over 162 x50Kg Bags of smuggled Foreign Rice intercepted at Lagos offshore, though no arrest was made as the smugglers dived into the sea on sighting the Navy Patrol Team. The DPV of the seizure is Five Million, One Hundred and Eighty Four Thousand Naira (5,184,000.00) only.

He said, “Let me use this medium to commend the Nigerian Navy for their support towards the anti-smuggling drive of the Command. This seizure is a symbol of cordial working relationship with Sister Agencies and also depict that the Security Agencies have no overlapping functions in the discharge of our statutory responsibilities.
It is in the spirit of inter-agency collaboration that I am handing over the Cannabis Sativa, Heroin and the arrested suspect to the Area Commander NDLEA, Apapa Special Area Command”

The Total Duty Paid Value (DPV) of the Seizures under review is One Billion, Two Hundred and Sixty Five Million, Eight Hundred and Thirty Thousand, Eight Hundred and Nine Naira and Four Kobo(#1, 265,830,809.04) only.

He reiterated that the action of the operatives is in line with the Provisions of Section 149 (Powers to search vehicles/ships and Section 158 (Power to Patrol Freely) of Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) Cap C45 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 as amended.

The drugs however have been handed to the NDLEA, through the Area Commander, Apapa Special Command, Samuel Gazama.

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