Intercepts fake $6m Bills, Indian hemp, 2,262 Pieces of Dead Rats, Birds, and facilitated Export Goods of over N10.7bn in FOB Value
In an attempt to succinctly recount the activities of Seme Area command for the first quarter of 2023, the Customs Area Controller of the command, Comptroller Dera Nnadi gave a press briefing recently. Comptroller Nnadi said, due to the tenacity of his officers and men as well as the credible intelligence available to them during the first quarter of 2023 (January and March), they intercepted and arrested unlawful goods which included but not limited to; fake $6 million bills (equivalent of N2.763 billion at exchange rate of N460.52), 1160 pieces of dead rats, 1102 pieces of dead tiny birds, 34 pieces of monkey skin and 14 parcels of cannabis sativa.
In accordance to the resolve of the management of the Nigeria Customs Management led by Colonel Hammed Ali (RTD) to consolidate the existing synergy between the Nigeria Customs Service and other sister agencies in Nigeria, Comptroller Nnadi also seized the opportunity to publicly hand over the fake foreign currency bills to the Economic and Financial, Crimes Commission (EFCC) represented by ACE II Michael Wetkas the Lagos Zonal Commander. Nnadi stated that the Command also during the period under review, impounded 6 Maltese International Passports with the picture of one lady bearing different names, two Senegalese International Passports, three Togolese International Passports, four Republic of Benin International Passports, one Republic of Niger International Passport and 10 International Driving License of the aforementioned various countries, which he said were going to be handed over to the Nigeria Immigration Service.
According to Comptroller Nnadi, in addition to the above mentioned, the following were also seized during the period under review; 2,242 bags of 50kg of rice equivalent to 112,100 kg or four trailer loads of foreign par boiled with Duty Paid Value of N72, 700, 480; 7, 587 by 30 liters of Premium Motor Spirit equivalent of 227,610 liters or Seven Tanker loads of PMS with duty paid value of N51, 075, 684 and 550 pieces of donkey skin with duty paid value of N10, 689,504. Nnadi said that as they continue to pedantically enforce compliance in line with government fiscal policies, they will also as a command explore continuous dialogue, engagement, sensitization and education of their immediate public on the social/economic implications of smuggling in the country.
Nnadi said the Command generated N350, 099,541.71 in the first quarter of 2023, an amount he stated was a shortfall of N105, 095,708.76 or 23.09 percent when compared to the N455, 195,250.47 that was collected in the corresponding period of 2022. The Controller said their estimation is that the shortfall may be connected to the scarcity of cash that the country suffered recently occasioned by the Naira design as well as the apprehension of most traders in the corridor who clearly were waiting for the outcome of the just concluded general election in Nigeria. Nnadi said that the not too friendly economic policy of the Republic of Benin, which imposes fees on goods on transit to Nigeria, has also continued to contribute to the decline of trade in the corridor.
In his concluding remarks, Comptroller Nnadi said that “One of the core mandates of the Nigeria Customs Service is trade facilitation and that they as a command are conscious of the strategic position they occupy for the facilitation of trade and tourism in the corridor, particularly in the implementation of the ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme (ETLS) and the emerging African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA). Therefore, during the period under review and under the ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme (ETLS), the Command facilitated 425 trucks with fees amounting to N314, 720,938.71. Similarly, 412 baggage declarations with duty amounting to N58, 844,382.00. For export, the command recorded 1,243 trucks, bearing 40,096.47 metric tons of cargo made in Nigeria declared on 165 Single Administrative Documents (SAD) with FOB value of N4, 291,322,887.19 kobo and NESS FeEs of N21, 456,551.83K.