The Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone ‘A’ of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) had refuted all claims of unrelenting Customs patrol contrary to the directive given by the Comptroller General of Customs (CGC) Abdullahi Dikko Inde in a circular to the effect.
Reports maintained that Customs Officers operate check points along the Badagri Expressway close to the Seme Border access road three years after they have been directed to suspend all such activities.
Meanwhile the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone ‘A’ CSC Uche Ejesieme when contacted countered the claim and alleged that the FOU which is an enforcement arm of the service is synonymous with discipline “we cannot flout the directives of the CG of Customs Abdullahi Dikko Inde, and it may interest you to know that we have a very standardized system of reprimanding officers who contravene the rules both at the headquarters and at the local levels”.
He said that especially at his period when their reparations had been enhanced by the new management of Customs there is zero tolerance for officers who are involved in shady transactions and although the service does not advertise the system of reprimands the officers are aware of the consequences of such acts.
Mr. Ejesieme also enumerated that in the first quarter of this year that is from 01 January 2015-31 March 2015, the Command recorded a total of 177 seizures with a total Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N131,119,900.
According to him “some of the items seized includes but is not limited to, 3,270 bags of 50kg parboiled rice in 46 seizures, with a DPV of N21,255,000, 5,636 cartons of frozen poultry in 36 seizures with DPV of N30,433,400 and 38 units of fairly used vehicles also known as ‘tokunbo’ with DPV of N55,936,000, we also had seizures of new and used textile materials, vegetable oil among other items”. He stated.
He added that 8 suspects were apprehended in connection with the seizures for the period under reference.
He emphasized that “you don’t see our operatives on ground; we simply rely on the concept of risk management and cargo selectivity to do our job”.
He further explained that “what this means is that as soon as we have reasonable information of revenue being compromised in places under our watch, we put it under surveillance and when we are convinced, we send our operatives to go and pick up the contraband and return to the office”. He said.