The Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone ‘A’ of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has pledged its renewed diligence and commitment to degrade the activities of smugglers through aggressive patrol of all flanks and flashpoints.
The new Customs Area Controller (CAC), Amade Abdul stated this at his inaugural press briefing at the command. Stressing that FOU will be very ruthless with these economic saboteurs as the Customs has a responsibility to protect the Nation’s economy in line with the expectations of the Federal Government of Nigeria.
In his words, “You are already aware that the Federal Operations Unit Zone ‘A’ is statutorily charged, entrusted and vested with the responsibilities of suppressing smuggling and facilitation of legitimate trade. Beyond this, we are complimenting the efforts of the other Customs Commands in ensuring that there is total compliance with the fiscal policies of Federal Government in terms of trade.
“Having taken cognizance of the herculean nature of this mandate, and appreciative of the need to maintain and sustain the rating of the Unit as a hub and flagship of anti-smuggling, it became pertinent for me to put measures in place to actualize it. Part of my strategy is intelligence and information gathering, collaboration and synergy with critical stakeholders; the maritime operators, security agencies of Government and even the various communities where we operate.
“On assumption of office and as a proactive measure, I have held meetings with the team leaders and units of sectional heads, on ways of enhancing the operational capacity of the Unit in line with my mandate as the Controller. I am happy to inform you that I met a formidable team of committed and diligent officers and men who have the capacity and competence to decimate the antics of smugglers in our areas of jurisdiction.
“You will recall that the Customs Management is very emphatic about collaboration with other agencies. In this regard it has become necessary to enhance collaboration among ourselves. I am going to surpass the anti-smuggling records of any predecessors and ensure that the Unit maintains its enviable status as the hub of anti-smuggling.” He said.
Speaking further, Amade stated that the Command will ensure facilitation of trade in its attempt to enforce compliance with the fiscal policies of Government, enumerating a summary of seizures made for the period since his resumption of office on 26th August 2015, as follows; 12 different Seizures of 50kg parboiled Rice, totaling 1,887 bags with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of twelve million, two hundred and sixty five thousand, five hundred naira (N12, 265,500.00) only.
33 different Seizures of smuggled frozen poultry products totaling 4,854 cartons with a DPV of twenty six million, two hundred and eleven thousand, six hundred naira (N26,211,600.00) only.
2 different Seizures of vehicles totaling 4 vehicles with a DPV of nine million, nine hundred and ninety thousand naira (N9,990,000.00) only.
In the general goods category are; 12 different Seizures of general goods, new & used tyres, textile materials, vegetable oil, used shoes, fruit juice, spaghetti, etc. With a DPV of eight million, twelve thousand, one hundred naira (N8,012,100.00) only.
Bringing the total seizures by the Unit from the 27th August – 11th September, 2015 to fifty nine (59) different Seizures with a Duty Paid Value of fifty six million, four hundred and seventy nine thousand, two hundred naira (N56,479,200.00) only, adding that eight (8) suspects were apprehended in connection with the Seizures.