By Ajibola Abayomi
Despite the low volume of economic activities along the Lagos-Abidjan corridor, the Seme command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has recorded a total of N5.3 billion as revenue from January to October, 2017.
Also, the anti-smuggling unit of the command made a total of 469 seizures with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N508, 469,776.32 for the period under review.
A close evaluation of the command’s performance indices for the last ten months revealed that the command had performed creditably in the face of many limiting factors and hiccups that have militated against its performance.
With the adoption of a more inclusive approach in the fight against smuggling activities, the collaborative efforts with other relevant security agencies and the stakeholders have led to a tremendous decline in smuggling activities and increase in revenue collection.
Speaking on the total revenue collected for the period under review, the Customs Area Controller of the command, Comptroller Aliyu Mohammed disclosed that the feat was achieved with the cooperation of his officers and men whose resilience and doggedness could not be compromised in implementing the policy of the federal government banning the importation of rice and vehicles through the land borders.
Mohammed stated that the intensified and aggressive anti-smuggling operations in the command had led to a drastic reduction in revenue leakages adding that it also led to the curbing of most cross border crimes perpetrated through the land border even as restated that the fight against smuggling must be sustained.
Meanwhile, the command raked in the sum of N678,237,118.22 as revenue for the month of October, 2017 while a total of 123 seizures with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N184,366,505.00 was made in the same month under review.
He submitted that the different types of seizures made in the command was a pointer to the fact that smuggling through Seme border had been combated to the barest minimum.
The seized items according to the command’s helmsman ranged from fairly used vehicles to rice, second hand clothing, shoes, frozen poultry products, mosquito repellent coils, expired fertilizer and used tyres among others.
Commenting further on the movement of goods through the ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme (ETLS) which was adopted to promote regional trade and integration, the Customs Area Controller said that under his watch the command was committed to the implementation of extant laws regarding transit scheme, even as he affirmed that no import goods meant to pay duty was allowed to pass through the ECOWAS scheme.