CUSTOMS: Western Marine Command Records N1.1bn Seizures In 2020

Comptroller Olugboyega Peters showcasing the seized cannabis before the Newmen in Lagos

Comptroller Peters O displaying seized items before the journalists.

By Sandra Chukwunyere

The Nigeria Customs Service, NCS Western Marine Command ( WMC) has raked in a whopping sum of One Billion, One Hundred and Four Million, Six Hundred and Forty-Seven Thousand, Three Hundred and Seventy Naira, no kobo (N1, 104,647,370.00) from January to December, 2020 into the federation account.
In it’s anti-smuggling drive, the Command According to it’s Public Relations Officer (PRO), ASC1 Isah Suliaman:”I want to seize this opportunity to brief you on the anti-smuggling feat of our operatives from January to December 2020. 
“The Western Marine Command (WMC) as the amphibian arm of the Service has the statutory responsibilities of suppression of smuggling activities and enforcing the Federal Government fiscal policies along the South Western waterways and creeks.
According to the Customs Area Controller, (CAC) Comptroller Olugboyega Peters noted that “The Year 2020 is a year of biggest achievement in the history of WMC, the Command witnessed change of baton in late February 2020. The new Customs Area Controller (CAC) Comptroller Olugboyega Peters PSC+ Dss upon assumption of office re-jigged the operational activities of the Command with the sole aim of blocking the porosity of the creeks in order to suppress smuggling activities along our territorial waters thereby achieving maximum and efficient operations”.

The CAC further said that it was because of the various strategies adopted by his Officers and men of the Command that made them to achieve such feat. “It may interest you to know that these strategies led to the seizures of 81 different items from January to December, 2020 with Total Duty Paid Value(DPV) One Billion, One Hundred and Four Million, Six Hundred and Forty Seven Thousand, Three Hundred and Seventy Naira (#1, 104,647,370.00) only as against the Total DPV of One Hundred and Twenty Nine Million, Five Hundred and Fifty Nine Thousand, Six Hundred and Fifty Six Naira, Forty Six Kobo (#129, 559,656.46) only in the Year 2019.
“These unprecedented seizures were made as a result of the strategies put in place in terms of 24hour patrol, capacity building, surveillance, intelligence gathering, doggedness and determination of our operatives in making the Zone unbearable for smugglers. I want to use this medium to appreciate the efforts of other sister agencies for their contributions in providing relevant information in making some of these seizures.
Recounting what transpired some months ago  and how the feat was achieved, the CAC said:”Gentlemen of the press, you may recall that the operatives of the Command had on the 24th April 2020 made a unique seizure of over 10tonnes of Cannabis Sativa (Marijuana) valued at One Billion, Two Million, Fifty Thousand Naira (#1, 002,050,000.00) only which happened to be the biggest single item catch of Marijuana ever seized in the history of Nigeria Customs Service.
“This feat has received national and international commendations; the Comptroller General of Customs(CGC) on behalf of the Management recognised the outstanding performance of the Officers/Men involved in the seizure with commendation letters. Also, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC) has recognised the Command and they are about to install a Video Tele-Conferencing (VTC) Cisco WebEx equipment that will aid our operations in the maritime industry. The equipment is funded under the auspices of the Government of Denmark aimed at strengthening maritime law enforcement response to piracy and other maritime crimes in the gulf of guinea.
Continuing on the tremendous seizures, the ever-ready anti-smuggling giant (CAC) stressed that “These seizures are strong indication that the operatives of the Command are combat-ready in policing and enforcing the Federal Government Fiscal Policies despite the ravaging Covid-19 pandemic”.
The Command credited it’s numerous achievements to the fatherly support of the Customs Comptroller General, Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd.), who he said has been there for them at all time.
“Let me use this medium to appreciate the CGC and his management team for their motivation and support giving to the Officers/Men in the discharge of theirstatutory responsibilities. We assure them that the Officers/Men of WMC under the leadership of Comptroller Olugboyega Peters will perform their statutory responsibilities in line with the policy thrust of the present administration of zero tolerance to corruption and other vices.
His final words to the good-for-nothing  fraudulent importers (smugglers), is that there will be no hidden place for the wicked.
“To those unscrupulous elements; we want them to know that there is no hidden place for them and whatever their strategy, we will always be ahead of them.
Consequently, Comptroller Peters has reiterated our firm commitment in carrying out the duty vested on us in suppressing smuggling and will not rest on our oars in suppressing smuggling to the barest minimum. He enjoins the patriotic citizens to continue with their legitimate business in accordance with the extant laws as enshrined in the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA)”.

He finally thanked the media for their cooperation and support.”Gentlemen of the press, we appreciate you for your determination in disseminating the efforts of the Service in anti-smuggling drive,” he added.ReplyForward
Officer incharge of Enforcement Department at WMC, DC Ifeanyi Ohanyere and Public Relations Officer,I Suleiman inspecting the seized items at the Command.

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