SAYS ACTING CONTROLLER,FEDERAL OPERATIONS UNIT ZONE A, HUSSEIN K EJIBUNU
Summarizing the successes that the Federal operations unit Zone (A) accomplished in March 2023, at a press briefing held at the headquarters of the unit, the acting Controller of the unit Hussein K Ejibunu said that have had to continue to constantly re-strategize to be ahead of the economic saboteurs, who are in the habit of concealment, false declaration, underpayment, and duty evasion. According to Ejibunu, some of the seizures made for contravening various sections of the Nigerian extant laws are as follows:
- 6,228 X 50kg bags of foreign parboiled rice (equivalent to 11 trailer loads)
- 35,325 litres of premium motor spirit (PMS)
- 279 Cartons of foreign poultry products
- 105 parcels (50kg) of cannabis sativa
- 2 x 40 ft containers said to contain 883 bales of used clothes
8 units of foreign-used (Tokunbo) vehicles
- Ejibunu said that the total worth of the goods in terms of duty paid value (DPV) stood at Six Hundred and Ninety-Four Million, Four Hundred and Sixty-Two Thousand, One Hundred and Fifty Naira (N694,462,150.00). Five (5) suspects were arrested in connection with some of the goods.
Ejibunu advised all and sundry particularly importers of goods into Nigeria to endeavour to always make sincere declarations, and be properly guided by the import/export prohibition lists. This he said will give proper impetus to the role the federal government playing by imposing trade restrictions on the importation of certain goods into Nigeria to protect our local companies and farmers from unhealthy competition with foreign firms. He said it is imperative to note that the wisdom behind the government’s protectionist policy is to protect the national economy and safeguard its citizens’ lives and property. Smuggled bales of used clothes expose its users to fungal diseases and other skin diseases like scabies.
Ejibunu further explained that apart from the effect of smuggled foreign frozen poultry products on the economy, it also affects the health of its consumers. Some of these frozen poultry products are preserved under questionable conditions. This assertion is embedded in some previous laboratory reports by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).
As a part of the results achieved from the reworked strategy; expired, illicit, and other drugs that did not comply with the statutory import requirements were intercepted at different times and locations are constructively warehoused in 39 x 140 ft and 2 x 20 ft containers by this Unit and will be handed over to NAFDAC for possible destruction (with a DPV of N1,422,000,000).
In our efforts to prevent loss of government revenue to duty underpayments that either arose from the undervaluation of imported items or wrong Harmonized System (HS) code classification; the sum of Seventy-Two Million, Six Hundred and Ninety-Three Thousand, Three Hundred and Seven Naira, Nine Kobo (N72,693,307.09) was recovered during the period under review.
These seizures are a reflection of our commitment to duty and non-compromise in the discharge of our functions; aimed at protecting the nation’s economy and preventing the importation of prohibited and harmful products from entering our domestic markets.
In concluding the press briefing Ejibunu encouraged the general public to always approach any Customs office across the country for information and guidance concerning international trade.