Story by Dili Utomi.
The Zone ‘A’ unit of the Controller General of Customs Strike Force has in its bid to encourage legitimate business practices and to deter people from engaging in illegal trade made more seizures in the two months of October and November.
The coordinator of the Strike Force, Deputy Comptroller Yusuf, M. S. while addressing the press at the premises of the unit in Ikeja on Wednesday indicated that “The unit has remained resolute and undeterred in spite of all the challenges confronting them at enforcing the government’s policies and Customs extant laws”.
DC Yusuf noted that the seizures made over the period are testament to the commitment of the officers of the unit in the discharge of their responsibilities. He listed the items seized as 1010x50kg bags of foreign parboiled rice, 376.4kg of pangolin scales, 100 cartons of red wine, 40kg of Cannabis Sativa, 58 bales of used clothing and 35 units of 25 litres of of jerry cans containing premium motor spirit. All the items have a duty paid value of One Billion, Nine Million, Six Hundred and Seventy Six Thousand (#1,009,676,000.00) Naira only.
The coordinator also pointed out that the amount received through the issuance of demand notice for the purposes of correcting the underpayments, undervaluation and wrong classification over the period is Five Hundred and Thirty Seven Million, Nine Hundred and Five Thousand, Three Hundred and Four (#537,905,304.00) Naira only.
Comparatively, Five Billion, Two Hundred and Fifty Four Million, Seven Hundred and Eighty Four Thousand, Six Hundred and Fifty (#5,254,784,650.00) Naira only has been cumulatively collected as revenue since his resumption of duty in February with a 32% increase over the figure of the corresponding period of last year which figure stands at Three Billion, Five Hundred and Eighty Eight Million, Sixteen Thousand, Six Hundred and Ninety Four (#3,588,016,694.00) Naira only. The total number of goods seized from February till date has a duty paid value (DPV) of Eight Billion, Five Hundred Million, Nine Hundred and Three Thousand, Six Hundred and Seventy Three (#8,500,903,673.00) Naira only.
While fielding questions from the journalists, the coordinator spoke against the deplorable act of killing pangolins for their scales as he said that the act of killing these endangered species affect the balance of nature. He also added that while trying to arrest the owner of the vehicle carrying the cannabis sativa, his men met grave challenges as are the cases with most of the seizures.
DC Yusuf revealed that three suspects were arrested within the period of these recent seizures, but that they have been granted administrative bail. He hopes that these arrests and seizures would deter people from engaging in these nefarious activities as he thanked all the sister agencies for all the shared intelligence, he aslo thanked the press and the general public for their cooperation.
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