Nigerian Customs CG Meets Beninoise Counterpart

Nigerian Customs CG Meets Beninoise Counterpart The Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Col Hammed Ali (rtd) has stressed the need for the implementation of ties with sister organisations for enhanced security at the nation’s borders.

At a meeting with his Beninoise counterpart in Abuja, Col Hammed said besides, ‘generating revenues for government, it has also become imperative for customs organization in the west Africa region to improve their synergy in maintaining security at the borders.

The development is coming weeks after the service intercepted a truck carrying a large cache of arms enough to arm a battalion of soldiers in January.

Mr Hammed confirming the seizure to journalists, said 661 pieces of the rifle were found in 49 boxes, despite the Federal Government’s ban on pump action rifles and other firearms.

According to him, they were concealed in steel doors and other merchandise goods in a 40-feet container conveyed in a Mack truck with registration number BDG 265 XG.

Also more recently, the Imo state command of the service, Federal Operations Unit (Zone C) Owerri, impounded 17 items worth over 194 million Naira.

However, with the establishment of ties with sister organisations, it is hoped that the Nigerian Customs would be able to maintain maximum security at the borders and reduce the rate of importation of illegal items into the country.

Group Wants Corrupt Persons Who Return Looted Funds Punished

Former DPO,10-year jail term,Voluntary return of looted funds or option of plea bargain is not deterrent enough for persons indicted to have looted Nigeria’s funds in the war against corruption, a group, the Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, said on Friday.

Giving instances of persons that they want to face punishments, the group claims that the former Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Mr Abdullahi Dikko, had returned one billion Naira to the Federal Government and insisted that voluntary return of loot was not enough.

‘Go And Sin No More’

In a statement, the Executive Chairman of Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL), Mr Debo Adeniran, said: “It is very imperative for Nigerians to understand the details of what constitute the ‘plea bargain’ being offered to some suspects of corruption or the ‘go and sin no more’ attitude which is apparently being applied as in Dikko and some other suspected corruption criminals’ cases”.

The group claimed that in recent developments, the former Comptroller-General was reported to have returned one billion Naira to the FG, just as a former Minister of State for Defense, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, has signed an undertaking with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to return 480 million Naira as ‘ill-gotten gains’ under their watch while in office.

Out of the 480 million Naira he has returned 100 million Naira to the Federal Government.

The ex-Custom boss has been under investigation by the EFCC for allegedly diverting about 40 billion Naira during his administration as head of Customs between August 2009 and August 2015, while Obanikoro’s case was about his alleged role in the diversion of 4.7 billion Naira from the imprest account of the Office of the National Security Adviser.

Mr Adeniran expressed dissatisfaction with the developments given the gravity of the crimes in question.

He said: “Our Coalition has always insisted on punishing culprits of corruption to serve as deterrent to other corruption criminals and the potentially corrupt persons in the country.

“The non-application of punitive measures against persons guilty of corruption would make the whole anti-corruption war a huge joke, a waste of time, energy and resources.

“We are aware that part of the conditions for plea bargain, given to accused persons, who are penitent, are forfeiting of properties and pleading guilty. We acknowledge the necessity to differentiate between penitent corruption criminals and recalcitrant ones, but we insist that the return of loots is not far-reaching enough if the war against corruption will achieve enduring success.

“Our position is that, it is correct to treat those who admit their guilt voluntarily and those that make the state to expend resources energy and time before their conviction is achieved differently, we agree to that extent.

“But our position is that those that opt for plea bargain should nonetheless not be allowed to go scot-free; they should hence be stripped of all their properties and monies as well as honours that could have been bestowed on some of them – they should be made to start life anew. All of their material possessions should be deemed as proceeds of corruption and therefore confiscated by the state. Then they can be told to ‘go and sin no more'”.

‘Jail According To Loot Size’

Continuing, he said: “As for the recalcitrant ones of should of course be made to face the full constitutional and judicial consequences of their crimes. They should be put in jail according to size of their loots, even up to life imprisonment”.

The CACOL is also suggesting life imprisonment for convicts that stole any amount above one billion Naira, insisting that they should be made to work diligently for their own upkeep via whatever skills they possess previously or has been able to learn behind the bars.

“They should be used as objects to educate the young, the youth and all when they go on excursion to the prisons, seeing former corrupt leaders in such situation will certainly serve to deter the potentially corrupt,” the group highlighted.

It further advised that whatever assets traced to such convicts should be deemed to be proceeds of corruption and confiscated by the Nigerian state.

Nigerian Navy To Partner Customs On Maritime Security

customsThe Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ibas, has promised to partner with the Nigerian Customs Service in the area of maritime security and exchange of information that will help in improving Nigeria’s economy.

Vice Admiral Ibas, who made the pledge in Abuja while playing host to the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd), said that conquering the challenges being faced by the nation requires effective collaboration of all military and para-military agencies.

The Comptroller General of Customs, Colonel Hameed Ali (Rtd), expressed concerns about the activities of smugglers who use the nation’s waterways to sabotage the economy of the nation.

He appealed to the Nigerian Navy to partner with the Customs Service to eradicate the menace of smuggling through the high sea.

Recently, the Nigerian Customs announced readiness, to partner with the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to curb the influx of substandard goods.

Customs To Collaborate With SON To Curb Substandard Goods Influx

Hameed-IbrahimThe Nigeria Customs Service says it is ready to partner with the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to curb the influx of substandard goods.

The Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Col. Hameed Ibrahim (rtd), told Channels Television on Saturday that the collaboration would enable the agencies achieve the Federal Government’s mandate of reducing to a bearable minimum the increasing inflow of such goods.

“We are here today to establish that synergy and agree that henceforth we will be working hand-in-hand to improve the system,” Col. Ibrahim said during a meeting with representatives of SON.

The Director General of SON, Joseph Odumodu, requested that the organisation should be allowed to be part of the imported goods’ extermination process to ensure proper check of goods.

“Sometimes containers may come with a paper that says it is ‘A’ but what is inside may be ‘B’. We do not need to see everything, but there are some products that we call life endangering products, like bulbs, electronics, tyres, children’s toys and others and we will like to have a good look at these products,” Mr Odumodu said.

He stressed that although the supervision may not require a 100 per cent involvement of SON, but a proper extermination will ensure that substandard goods do not come into Nigeria.

According to statistics, over 60 per cent of goods imported into Nigeria are fake and this has become an area of concern for the government.