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Customs Corner

Compt. Hussein Ejibunu Harps on Effect of Smuggling on Citizens, Economy

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Compt. Hussein Ejibunu Harps on Effect of Smuggling on Citizens, Economy

……..As FOU ‘A’ Records Seizures Worth N854M

By Femi Anamelechi

Comptroller Hussein Ejibunu, in charge of the Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Operations Unit, Zone ‘A’, has drawn the attention of citizens to the negative effect of smuggling on Nigerians and the economy.

Comptroller Ejibunu, who vowed to intensify efforts to reduce smuggling to the barest minimum, made the commitment on Tuesday, February 6, 2024, at the Unit’s headquarters while briefing newsmen on the Unit’s activities in January 2024.

According to him, “Smuggling is a crime that has to do with the act of false declaration and concealment of goods, the use of unapproved routes and ports for the exportation or importation of goods, forging of Customs documents, willful under-payment of Customs duties, and trafficking in prohibited or restricted goods among others.”

He emphasized the need for solid collaboration through information and intelligence sharing, saying, “The impact of smuggling has very serious repercussions on the economy, the environment, health and security. Thus, to restrain this trend of illegal commercial activities, there is the need for collaboration and strong partnership with other critical stakeholders through the sharing of information and intelligence”.

He stated that the unit activated an enhanced intelligence-gathering and information-sharing mechanism, which led to 60 seizures during the period under review.

“We were able to identify some new smuggling hot spots and schemes employed by smugglers. This strategy yielded 60 seizures worth a total duty paid value of N854,156,712”. He noted.

Notable among the seizures are; 3,653 X 50kg bags of foreign parboiled rice (equivalent to 6.5 trailer loads) 23,025 litres of PMS, 241 bales of used clothes, 1,490 kg of Indian Hemp, 1,220 cartons of foreign tomato paste, 983 pieces of used tyres, 104 units of Haojuo motorcycles, 556 cartons of slippers and 11 units of used vehicles.

According to the Customs Boss, the status of the goods were found to have contravened different sections of the Nigeria Customs Service Act, 2023, while some were expired at the time of importation; others flouted the import statutory guidelines.

Ejibunu noted that 10 suspects were arrested in connection with some of the goods.

On revenue recovery, the Unit generated the sum of N83,141,803.60 through documentary checks and issuance of demand notices on consignments that were found to have been short-paid.

Comptroller Ejibunu appreciated officers and men of the Federal Operations Unit Zone A for their hard work and dedication to duty, and other security agencies for their coordinated efforts, support and cooperation towards some of the successes recorded by the Unit in the preceding year, 2023.

He further urged patriotic citizens to join the enforcement and regulatory agencies to curb the menace of smuggling.

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Customs Corner

Customs Oyo/Osun Command Intercepts Fake Drugs, Others, Worth Over N1.8B

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…As Comptroller Ben Expresses Dedication to Protect Well-being of Citizens

Author: Lucy Nyambi.

The Nigeria Customs Service, Oyo/Osun Area Command, has intercepted sacks of fake Pharmaceutical drugs worth over N1.8billion.

Customs Area Controller Comptroller Ben Oramalugo disclosed this to reporters during a press briefing at the Command headquarters on Thursday, February 29, 2024.

Comptroller Ben stated that the Commands anti-smuggling activities have been strategically positioned to ensure the Federal Government’s policy on border closure is totally enforced by preventing the importation of prohibited items harmful to the great citizens of Nigeria. He also expressed the effort to prevent the exportation of essential food resources for individual economic gains by some economic saboteurs.

“We have successfully intercepted and seized contraband goods, including items that pose threats to economic stability and lives of citizens in the country,” He added.

Highlights of the seizures include 53 sacks of fake Pharmaceutical drugs with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of ₦1,739,000,000.00, 1,309 pieces of used tyres with a DPV of ₦70,140,000.00.

Others are; 345 × 50kg bags of Foreign Parboiled Rice, 344 × 25 litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), 4 Wraps (4 Kilogram) of Indian Hemp, 45 Sacks, 8 Sacks (9 Bales) of Used Clothings and Shoes, 34 Cartons of Foreign Wine, and 40 Bottles (5 litres), 21 Bottles (1 litres) of Foreign Vegetable Oil, all with a Total DPV of N1,890,022,931.00.

The CAC stated that, despite the prevailing economic challenges, the Command demonstrated resilience and efficiency in revenue generation by collecting the sum of N5,664,295,751.15 in February 2024. When added to the sum of N6,824,954,338.96, already collected for January 2024, the cumulative sum of N12,489,250,090.11 was collected so far for the fiscal year of 2024.

Comptroller Ben reiterated that all Borders within the Commands Area of Responsibility are still closed due to the Federal Government policy on Border closure and as such, “Command Officers remain vigilant and dedicated to preventing the smuggling of items that could compromise the health and well-being of our citizens.”

He appreciated the efforts of all Traditional Rulers, Local Government Chairmen and Key Stakeholders in both Oyo and Osun States, who have continued to enlighten their people about the negative effect of smuggling on the economy.

The CAC expressed the Nigeria Customs Service’s unwavering commitment to transparency, accountability, and the nation’s overall well-being. “We are confident that, through collective efforts, we can overcome the challenges we face and contribute to a more secure and prosperous future for Nigeria.”

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Customs Corner

COWA Collaborates with Youths, Women to Combat Drug Abuse

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Author: Iruoghene Abra, Muhammad Bashir.

The National President of the Customs Officers’ Wives Association (COWA), Mrs. Kikelomo Adeniyi, has expressed readiness to partner with the National Youth for Women Empowerment and Education in Nigeria as part of her plans to empower women through various ‘progressive’ programs aimed at improving their economic status.

Mrs. Kikelomo made this declaration during a meeting with members of the National Youth for Women Empowerment and Education in Nigeria, led by Ambassador Ibrahim Ibrahim, at the COWA National Secretariat on Thursday, 29 February 2024. She also emphasized her dedication to supporting women through educational initiatives.

In an address, Mrs. Kikelomo commended the organization’s executives for their tireless efforts in achieving the organization’s goals and objectives. She urged the young executives to continue their exemplary work in serving humanity.

Highlighting COWA’s activities, the President outlined initiatives such as providing support for women and children, empowering them with new skills and startup kits, and serving as the voice for the voiceless in society.

She emphasized that COWA stands as a pillar of support for wives and children during times of need, advocating for the rights of women who face similar challenges and discrimination in society.

Addressing the importance of mutual support, the COWA National President stressed the significance of women supporting each other to overcome obstacles and achieve their full potential.

She remarked, “The strength of a woman should not be measured by the challenges she faces but by her resilience in overcoming them.”

Continuing, she emphasized, “A healthy wife brings a wealthy life, as the well-being of women is crucial for the prosperity of households and communities.”

Mrs. Adeniyi highlighted the transformative power of education for women, stating, “When women are empowered, they contribute significantly to the economy, health, education, and all sectors of society, leading to positive change.”

She advocated for women to hold significant societal positions, citing their consistent ability to surpass expectations.

Mrs. Adeniyi reiterated COWA’s commitment to empowering women and children, expressing willingness to collaborate with the National Youth for Women Empowerment and Education in Nigeria to achieve shared objectives.

In response, the National Coordinator of the National Youth for Women Empowerment and Education in Nigeria, Ambassador Ibrahim Ibrahim, briefed COWA on the organization’s activities, which include encouraging women to embrace education and advocating against child abuse and domestic violence.

He highlighted the organization’s focus on supporting widows and children, facilitating skill acquisition, and caring for the elderly, praising Mrs. Adeniyi’s leadership and integrity expressing confidence in her ability to lead COWA to greater heights.

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Agriculture

Customs Pledges Support to Boost Hibiscus Industry in Jigawa State

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Author: Gift Wada.

The Nigeria Customs, on Tuesday, 27 February 2024, restated its commitment to support the Jigawa State Government in boosting the production and exportation of Hibiscus flowers in the state.

The Customs Area Controller of the command, Comptroller Dauda Ibrahim Chana, voiced his support during the official commissioning of the COMTTRA JIGAWA Hibiscus processing company by Governor Umar Namadi at the Magatari Border Free Zone in Jigawa state.

He pledged backing for the project, expressing the commitment of the Comptroller-General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, to promote exports, maintain trade balance, and safeguard national revenue and security.

“As a service, I wish to reiterate our commitment to support this laudable initiative and at the same time pledge our maximum co-operation for the effective take-off of this wonderful programme,” he said

While commending Governor Namadi, Chana highlighted the significance of the hibiscus plant in fostering value addition, encouraging exports, and generating employment opportunities.

On his part, the Bauchi State Governor, Umar Namadi, stated that the partnership aims to establish a cutting-edge Fumigation Chamber and a state-of-the-art cleaning and processing facility dedicated to hibiscus flowers. Operating under the brand name “Comttra Jigawa,” these facilities are poised to streamline production processes and elevate quality standards in the industry. This transformative collaboration seeks to position Jigawa as a leading center for hibiscus production and processing across Nigeria.

According to the Governor, In a bid to revolutionize the hibiscus value chain within its borders, the Jigawa State Government and Comttraex Nigeria Limited had inked a landmark Public-Private Partnership (PPP) agreement on April 19, 2022.

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