Smuggling Eats our Economy Same way Termites Eat Woods – Compt. Binga

As Western Marine Command Made Seizures Worth over N197 Million

Wants IDPs To Evacuate Seized Rice

By Ambrose Okehi and Sandra Chukwunyere

The Customs Area Controller (CAC) Western Marine Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has described smugglers,their smuggling activities and whatever it represents as not just economic saboteurs or criminals but are like  termites that eat up wood in a house gradually without mercy until they destroy the wood and the house. Insisting that smuggling activities  are dangerous to the economy and they gradually eating up and destroying the economy if not stopped.

But these evil and unrelenting smugglers in this nefarious business,the Western  Marine Command has assured would
always meet their waterloo in their hands of these marine.

This is even as the CAC of the command, Comptroller Boyiliya N. Binga, who was speaking to newsmen in his Western Marine  Command Lagos office on Thursday  also told them that his men and officers had in the short period he had spent in command made a total seizure worth NI97,887,446.00 (One Hundred and Ninety-Seven Million, Eight Hundred and Eighty-Seven Thousand Four Hundred and FORTY-Six No Kobo) since August 20I8.

Giving the details of the seizures, to include  806 rapes of Cannabis with Duty Paid Value of N2I,I57,600.00, 5,646, bags of rice with DPV of NI24,776,600.00, 2I9 kegs of vegetable oil with DPV of N2,628,000.00, N42,000,000.00 of 500 bales of second hand clothes, I4 sack of clothes with DPV of N588,000.00 and 42 sacks of shoes with s duty paid value of N6, 4I3,400.

The command also pleaded with IDPs in North East to come and evacuate items allocated to them which have stayed at the command’s warehouse for more than expected as they are occupying spaces for in-coming seizures in the command’s warehouse. 

This was the plea,the CAC, Comptroller B. N. Binga, made at a press conference on Thursday.

Comptroller Binga who also took newsmen round the Command’s warehouse that was  filled with various kind of seizures including rice, second hand clothing, shoes, sugar, vegetable oil and other items smuggled into the country through the creeks vowed that the smugglers should look for other areas to carry on with their evil business because there is no way they can operate effectively within the western marine creeks and go Scott free.

Still speaking of smuggling and its effects to the economy, Customs boss said: ”The description of smuggling and its effects is a simple thing to say. You see, smuggling is like a termites eating the wall of your house. Once it eats it, what happens? It goes down. That is what happens. That is what smuggling does to our economy.  smuggling kills and destroying the Nigeria economy. So that is how smuggling is to our economy, because it makes people lose their jobs, it makes our factories close down and what have you.”

Upon resumption on August I6,20I8 and noticing that there is shortage of operational tools and accommodation for men and officers of the command, he rolled his sleeves and commence work without delay.

On my resumption in office and noticing that there is shortage in accommodation,  operational tools including vehicles, I started putting structures on ground.
Officers accommodation has been a major problem in the command. But on observing this, I, decided to furnish a structure containing three (3) operational offices.”

On the dearth of operational tools, the CAC who said that has negatively affected the command’s operation, moved in with his management team to find solution as he started with repairing some of the damaged boats and vehicles.
”The dearth of operational materials such as boats and  vehicles has impacted negatively on the efficiency in anti-smuggling activities of the command. We (I and my management team) have been able to repair about three (3) boats not minding the cost implication just to see that smugglers are checkmated on the creeks. Two (2) vehicles of the command have also been repaired, thus boasting the readiness of the command in ant-smuggling activities.”

However, he said that the inter-agency corporation of the command is superb while he has been meeting and having regular discussing communities his jurisdiction.

The CAC noted that all these are going on smoothly because the Customs Comptroller-General (CGC) Col. Hameed Ali(Rtd)management’s support to the command.
”With the continued support by CGC and his management team in the area of promotion, welfare packages and supply of operational vehicles.”

With above support and assistance from the headquarters, the command is rest assured.
”The command will surely improve on its present achievements in order to meet and surpass its targets on anti-smuggling operations.”

In an effort to see that the war is properly waged and equally won by the Customs at Western command, the CAC stated that: ”We (Western Marine Command) are calling on the general public, the stakeholders and the maritime  media to assist the command with useful information that will aid the command in of activities.”

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