CAC Oramalugo leads his men and the press to see some of the seized items.
Story by Dili Utomi.
The Kebbi Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service led by the Customs Area Controller, Comptroller (Dr.) Ben Oramalugo has held a press briefing on the Command’s activities over the past one month at the premises of the Command in Birnin-Kebbi in order to give update on their activities.
The CAC revealed that ”
Since I took over barely two months ago, I have explored several ways, holding series of meetings and interfacing with all stakeholders aimed at stemming the tide of smuggling and increased revenue generation. In particular, we brought all our trading communities on board in a deliberate and conscious effort to forge a common ground. In all the meetings we held, I stressed the need for compliance and I enjoined them to adhere strictly to extant guidelines on import and export of goods”.
The sealed filling station.
In the month of March which is under review, the Command was able to generate the sum of One Hundred and Forty Four Million, Eight Hundred and Sixty Two Thousand, and Three Hundred and Seventy Two Naira (₦144,862,372). This represents 164% of their monthly target despite the elections that took place in the month which undoubtedly affected the volume of import of goods into the country.
Comptroller (Dr) Oramalugo noted that “We are hopeful of meeting, if not surpassing, the Command’s annual target of One Billion, Fifty Eight Million, Seven Hundred and Two Thousand Four Hundred and Sixty Six Naira (₦1,058,702,466)”.
The CAC with some of the seized items in the means of conveyance (a car).
He says “We are now exploring ways on how to address a major challenge identified by our stakeholders of multiple taxation from our neighbouring countries before their goods arrive at Kamba, the only border currently open under this Command”.
In the area of anti-smughling the CAC said that “On the wee hours of Wednesday, 29th March, 2023, we received credible intelligence of ongoing smuggling activities of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) at an AP filling station at Yauri in Yauri Local Government of Kebbi State. I instantly detailed my officers and men to rush to the scene, stop the illegal activity and seal up the filling station. The joint patrol teams, upon arriving at the filling station, engaged in skilled mode operation by cordoning off the entire area, sealing the filling station and started evacuation of all the kegs of PMS already loaded for onward smuggling out of the country through one of the waterways in Yauri.
While the evacuation was ongoing, the criminals who had fled the scene upon sighting our vehicles, later mobilized themselves and came back with some thugs in order to resist the evacuation, but our men stood their ground until we received reinforcement from the Nigerian Army who helped us in dispersing the crowd”.
They were able to eventually evacuate three hundred and four (304) kegs of PMS of 25 liters each, sealed up the filling station along with (6) petrol tankers inside. Investigation is now ongoing.
Seizures made during the period under review also include:
16,375 liters of PMS
210 cartons of foreign spaghetti, 34 bales of second hand clothes, 109 cartons of confectionaries, among others. The Duty Paid Value of the seized items is twenty three million, one hundred and forty one thousand, and eight hundred and three naira (#23,141,803).
Dr. Oramalugo warned that “We remain resolute in frustrating their illegal ventures as we are morally and logistically equipped and have the gallantry to scuttle all their activities”.
He appreciates all well-meaning citizens who help the Command with useful information to nip smuggling in the bud. He also said that they remain grateful to other units in the Service and sister agencies for their timely intervention anytime they reach out to them for their support.
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