By Shola Fadeyi
The Controller of the Oyo/ Oshun Command of the Nigerian Custom Service(NCS) , Comptroller Helen Uche-Ngozi inspecting some seized illegal goods at Command’s Headquarters in Ibadan, Oyo State recently.
Despite the raging Covid- 19 pandemic , which resulted in the lockdown of Nigeria’s economy for months this year, the Oyo/Oshun Area Command of the Nigerian Customs Service(NCS) has recorded an increase of 33 .3 per cent, in its revenue, from all its activities between January and September , 2020 compared to its performance in the same period of 2019.
The Command generated a sum of N39,990,033,122.70 during the period out of the N62,848,518,366.93 alloted to it as revenue target for 2020, even as the Area Controller, Comptroller Helen Uche- Ngozi has pledged to ensure that the Command realized the balance before the end of the year..
The Controller who made the revelation while giving the Command’s scorecard , said despite all odds , the Command has not lost sight of its very important function of the fight against smuggling, while it has sharpened its intelligence, re-strategized, created new patrol teams and drawn a more robust Area of Responsibility(AOR) chart to help combat illicit activities.
She said In line with Customs and Excise Management Act Cap.C45 LFN 2004 (CEMA), which guides the operations of the service, the Command has also conducted its duties with professionalism and efficiency.
According to her, the Command in adherence with the directive of the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd), would continue to ensure that all forms of smuggling across borders are suppressed, legitimate trade is facilitated and maximum revenue is collected and accounted for.
The Controller stated that the value of seizures recorded by the Command during the period was N636,052,507 representing a rise of 102.4 percent compared to the level of N314,236,403.47 worth of seizures in the same period of 2019 .
Some of the seizures , according to her include 265 kegs of 25 litres , each of Premium Motor Spirit which the Controller said would be auctioned and proceeds remitted accordingly, while it also seized one truck containing 600bags of NPK 12-12-17 2 MgO fertilizer, along Igbeti axis of Oyo State, for lack of necessary regulatory document.
She disclosed that another 800bags of NPK 15-15-15 fertilizer with N18,702,000 as its Duty Paid Value(DPV) was also seized, due to its failure to produce the required document within the 90 days grace period .
Other seizures according to her , include:2270bags of 50kg each of Foreign Parboiled rice with N96,055,050 DPV , Six(26)kegs of 25 litres each of foreign parboiled rice with DPV of N530,692, fourteen sacks containing 28 bags of concealed rice with DPV of N1,213,030.
The Controller said 60 bales of second hand clothing with DPV of N11,519,550 ;314units of used tyres with DPV of N3,681,995 and 20 kegs of 25 litres each of vegetable oil with N219,420 DPV were also impounded.
The Comptroller said the achievements recorded were made possible by the Command’s resilient and vigilant officers some of whom she stated are being transferred currently to other commands.
She also acknowledged the contributions and collaboration of other units such as the Customs Intelligence Unit (CIU), Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Strike Force, Customs Police, Border Drill, Valuation Unit, ICT Unit, Anti-Money Laundering/CFT Unit, Anti-Corruption Unit, and other sister agencies to the success of the Command.
The Controller also lauded the cooperation of the traditional rulers, community leaders, stakeholders for their provision of the enabling environment for the officers to function effectively.