The Seme Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), said it generated about N6.3 billion into the Federal Government coffers through cross-border operations in 2018.
Spokesman for the Customs, Saidu Nuruddeen Abdullahi, who confirmed this on Tuesday, said the figure represents about 76 per cent of the revenue target allocated to the Command in the year under review.
Abdullahi said the Command’s enforcement unit, in an aggressive anti-smuggling drive against non-compliance, led to a total of 1,119 seizures with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N1.4 billion in the year.
Controller of the Command, Mohammed Uba, attributed the success to the commitment and dedication of the officers and men, who were ready to sacrifice their lives in the midst of intimidation and threats.
He said the Command seized 37,568 bags of 50kg foreign rice, which is equivalent to over 63 trailers of rice, with DPV of N876 million.
Other items seized during the year include: 1,072 of 50-litre jerry cans of vegetable oil; 169 vehicles; 1,570 of 50kg bags of sugar; 10,439 items of general merchandise; 2,300 cartons of poultry products; 168 pieces of used tyres; 3,954 litres of petroleum products; and 119 parcels of hard drugs/narcotics, all of which are estimated at N9.2 billion.
He disclosed that one of the suspects (Difo Kenneth Cornelius), who was transferred to the Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Seme Command, in August 2018, has been imprisoned for a term of two years (on 30th November) for unlawful possession of 7kg of Cannabis Sativa.
He said seven cases are in various stages of prosecution at the courts for the period under review, with three judgments given in favour of the Command. He added that the successful prosecution of the suspects will serve as a deterrent, and in due course the Command will be a no-go area for such illegality by economic saboteurs.
For exports, Uba said about N14.6 billion worth Free On Board (FOB) goods were exported from January to December 2018, with a total NESS payment of N73 million.
He reiterated that the Command will deploy more strategies to ensure that all revenue leakages are blocked, and stakeholders who are ready to comply with proper procedures and guidelines are adequately sensitised to take advantage of the legitimate process in their transactions.
He affirmed that the Command is ready to explore all avenues to ensure that the new target for the year is not only met but exceeded with the inauguration and resumption of operations at the new Joint border post.