The Kebbi Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) reported significant seizures in July.
Among the confiscated items are 4,200 litres of Premium Motor Spirit, 525 litres of diesel, and 37 kegs of vegetable oil.
Ben Oramalugo, the Customs Area Controller for the command, revealed these figures during a press briefing. The command made a total of 28 seizures during this period. Items seized included tramadol packs, cannabis tablets, used vehicles, foreign rice, and second-hand clothing.
The total duty paid value of these items amounted to N51m.
Oramalugo also touched upon the coup’s impact on the Niger Republic and the subsequent border closure. Despite these challenges, the command achieved a revenue of N99m, surpassing its monthly target by 113%.
The seized hard drugs, valued at N22m, have been handed over to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency.
In a related development, the Ogun State Command of the NCS intercepted contraband goods in the Yewa-North Local Government Area. Seized items included 203 bags of imported rice, five vehicles, and 1,245 rounds of live ammunition, all valued at N17m.
The Area Comptroller, Bamidele Makinde, stated that the ammunition was cleverly concealed within bags of rice.
Investigations are underway to identify the culprits behind this smuggling attempt.
The recent seizures by the Nigeria Customs Service in both Kebbi and Ogun states underscore the persistent challenges of smuggling and illicit trade in Nigeria.
While the NCS’s efforts in intercepting these goods are commendable, it’s evident that smuggling remains a lucrative venture for many, often driven by economic disparities and porous borders.
The smuggling of essential commodities like petrol and rice affects the nation’s economy, leading to revenue losses and undermining local industries.
More concerning is the smuggling of illicit items like hard drugs and ammunition, posing significant security risks.
The government must bolster its border security measures and enhance inter-agency collaboration.
Additionally, there’s a need for more comprehensive strategies, including community engagement and public awareness campaigns, to curb the demand for smuggled goods.
Nigeria can effectively combat smuggling and its associated challenges through a multi-faceted approach.
Did You Know?
- The Nigeria Customs Service was established in 1891, making it one of the oldest government agencies in Nigeria.
- Smuggling activities often thrive in regions with significant economic disparities and lax border controls.
- The smuggling of rice affects local farmers who cannot compete with cheaper imported varieties.
- Hard drugs and ammunition smuggling can exacerbate security challenges, increasing crime rates.
- Community engagement can play a pivotal role in curbing smuggling, as locals can provide crucial intelligence to authorities.