The Nigerian Customs Service, Port Harcourt, Area II Command, has seized three containers containing hundreds of bags of foreign rice, which were falsely declared by an importer.
The Area Controller of the Command, Comptroller Abubakar Bashir, explained that the NCS was able to discover the goods as a result of its resolve to embark on a 100 percent physical examination of every container coming into the country through its command.
Displaying seized containers to journalists, Bashir recalled that the command under his watch had made a total of 23 seizures with a duty paid value of N446.3 million and N23.6 million on three containers carrying the imported rice.
Bashir disclosed that the erring importer had declared that the containers were loaded with sewing machines, only for the security outfit to search aND discover that they (containers) were loaded with hundreds of bags of foreign rice.
He warned importers, who were in the habit of false declaration of goods to desist from such crime, adding that with his Command’s new strategy, no container would pass without a thorough check.
Bashir said, “By insisting on 100 percent examination of cargo, we have also forestalled the importation of unwholesome and prohibited goods into the country.
“Our stand on this issue is particularly reassuring in light of current events in the country, which led to the seizure of illegally imported arms. Today, no container exits the port gate without 100 percent physical examination.”
On revenue generation, he stated that despite the current economic situation in the country, the Port Harcourt II Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service had generated over N71.8 billion as revenue from January to September 2017.
He said that the amount was recorded from oil and gas importation and exportation, even as he observed a 52 percent drop in oil and gas imports through the command.
Bashir also noted that there had been a 45 percent increase in revenue generated from other sources, adding that the command had from January to September, 2017, recorded a great feat in its fight against smuggling.
He pointed out that the command had generated about 63.85 percent of its annual budget, promising that the command will exceed its target of N112.5billion at the end of the year.
According to Bashir, “The revenue collected by the command from first to the third quarter of the year 2017 stood at N71,826,387,566.98 billion, which is N1,430,239,950.49 billion higher than the total revenue collected in the same period of the year 2016.
“Between January and September, this year, the command recorded export activities to the tune of $96.520million (N29,454,088,974.00billion). We also recorded an increase in Nigeria Export Supervisory Scheme fees collected being N150.308 million. These figures represents a 200 percent increase in export activities as at the third quarter of 2017.”
The Customs Comptroller of Port Harcourt Area II decried the lack of functional scanning machines to carry out the job of detecting contraband goods.