Seme Customs Wages War Against Economic Saboteurs

Seme CAC, Comptroller Mohammed Garba Uba showcasing seized items.

By Sandra Chukwunyere

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Seme Command has again vowed
to fight smugglers (also known as economic saboteurs) to a standstill if
they fail distance from such wicked and nefarious activities and turn
new leaves.
The Customs Area Controller (CAC) of Seme, Comptroller Mohammed
Uba stated this while charging his men and officers to ensure that the
illegal importation of  contrabands through the border post is
curtailed.
 According to the Command’s  Public Relations Officer , Saidu
Abdullahi: ”This is coming at the heels of the arrest of  7,524 bottles of Foreign Table water i.e. 627 dozens (imported from China) discovered
to have valued at N1,726,644.00 with DPV of N3,043,364.00.
The Command noted that the items were discovered while conducting 100% physical examination at the Examination bay of the JBP
Premises.
He equally stressed the  impact of the enforcement unit of the
Command, saying: ”In fact the efforts of the enforcement unit of the
Command with regards to suppression against smuggling has been
unprecedented in recent times; in the past week alone, nine(9) vehicles were arrested carrying:83 cartons of Amira/Makoko soap with DPV of N1,816,424.00, 1,718x50bags of Foreign parboiled rice which has a DPV of N655,250.00, 26 bales of used clothes with DPV of N918,918.00,14
cartons of Nitro feminine soap that has DPV N169,855.0013 bags of
expired rice DPV N54,860.008 sacks of used shoes DPV N98,090.0065×6 yards of textile DPV N63,759.0011 cartons of insecticide DPV N13,035.00864×30 liter jerry cans of Sulphuric acid DPV N3,542,400.00 2 sacks of rubber slippers DPV N38,228.00 2 cartons of lemon cream DPV N77,382.00”.

The CAC therefore explained further that one of the vehicles used for
conveying the contraband goods is a Toyota Hillux van (masked in an
official regalia), intercepted conveying 16 bags of rice at Gbaji axis. DPV for the means of conveyance seized stood at N8,716,663.00.
Comptroller Uba in all affirmed that with the continuous seizures, the
right signal is sent to discourage other people from indulging in the
unfortunate act of smuggling. He therefore promised that the
momentum of total compliance to all extant laws would be sustained to ensure
optimal revenue collection, trade facilitation and suppression of
smuggling to the barest minimum.
While reiterating the gains that follows total compliance to trade
policies and the benefits as well as the gains the country will derive
from the inter-connectivity between Nigeria and Republic of Benin as
launched by the CGC Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd) late in June, the Comptroller said that the Command has been surpassing its revenue target for the
last three months running.
The total revenue generated for the first half of the year, according to
him stands at four billion, one hundred and eighty five million, seven hundred and eighty two thousand, three hundred and ninety seven
naira only (N4,185,782,397), representing about 64% of the annual
allotted target.
He called on his Benin counterpart to respect the International Law
guiding the transfer of cargo from one Customs administration to
another. He reasoned that over the years, transit provisions have been codified by a number of International Conventions, the most
important being the GATT agreements on Transit, the WCO Kyoto
Convention, and the 1982 Geneva Convention on the harmonization of frontier control of goods. He informed further that Article V of the
GATT
agreement provides the freedom of transit and determined that “There shall be freedom of transit through the territory of each Contracting
Party via the routes most convenient for international transit, for
traffic in transit to or from the territory of other Contracting Parties.
These procedures are intended to protect the revenues of the country
of transit, to avoid the circumstance that goods intended for transit are leaked to the
domestic market.. Such transit procedures should be simple so as not
to generate excessive delays and costs. He declared that poor transit is a major obstacle to trade.The Customs Area Controller mentioned that a total of 37 vehicles have been released to the successful bidders of
the auctioned vehicles domiciled at the Command. He called on the
general public to be vigilant against internet fraudsters who prey on
unsuspecting members of the public to dupe them of their legitimate
earnings through dubious ploys for auction of seized goods. He
clarified further that app.trade.gov.ng/eauction is the correct
government site for auctioning.

Comptroller Mohammed Uba and Officers of the Command.

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