Two Killed, Three Injured As Customs Border Operators Clash With Smugglers

Assistant Comptroller General of the Nigerian Customs Service, Bashir Abubakar during a visit to some of the victims at Katsina General Hospital.

 

No fewer than two persons were killed and four others injured during a border drill operation by Nigerian Customs Service officers in Jibia Local Government Area of Katsina State.

The drill, which occurred in the early hours of Monday, turned violent when some of the smugglers resisted the officers’ carrying out the operation.

Major stores with traders that deal in smuggled items including foreign rice, sugar, milk, macaroni, spaghetti, and second-hand clothes were raided by the officers.

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The Assistant Comptroller General of the Nigerian Customs Service and leader of the Sector 4 command of the National Border Drill Operation, Bashir Abubakar confirmed the incident while addressing journalists on Monday at the Katsina 17 Brigade Headquarters.

He added that the operation started on Monday night at about 1:00 am following intelligence gathered by the joined operation network.

Abubakar also condoled with the victims of the operation and paid a visit to some of them currently receiving treatment at Katsina General Hospital.

He decried series of noncompliance in Daura, Jibia and Babura axis in Katsina and Jigawa States border areas and added that the sector had in the last quarter of its operations seized total of 235 belts of second-hand clothing.

Images of the seized second-hand clothing.

The border closure according to the Federal Government Government is one of the best ways to handle the issue of protecting the lives and property of citizenry and economic security.

The National Security Adviser, Retired Major General Babagana Monguno had earlier in September maintained that the border closure will remain until the objectives behind the closure are achieved.

 

Customs Intercepts N5bn Worth Of Tramadol, Other Drugs

 

The Nigerian Customs Service has intercepted containers of tramadol worth N5 billion in Lagos.

The Spokesman for the service, Joseph Attah, confirmed this to journalists at the Customs Training College on Friday.

 

 

According to him, the containers of tramadol and other drugs, were smuggled in during the recent Eid-El-Kabir celebrations, as the perpetrators tried to take advantage of the holidays.

This comes barely three weeks after officials of the service destroyed over 50 containers of tramadol and other drugs worth about N7billion.

Nigerian Customs Service Set To Recruit 3,200 Personnel

 

 

The Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) has commenced procedures for the recruitment of 3,200 personnel to fill various positions in the organization. 

According to a publication on the agency’s recruitment portal, the positions to be occupied by prospective staff include Assistant Superintendent of Customs, Assistant Inspector of Customs and Customs Assistant.

The general requirements for the positions are:

“Be a Nigerian Citizen by birth or descent.

“Not be less than 1.7 metres in height, for male and 1.64 metres for female.

“Have a fully expanded chest measurement of not less than 0.87 metres, male.

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“Be certified by a Government Medical Officer to be physically and mentally fit for appointment in Service.

“Not be suffering from any form of physical or mental disability.

“Be free from any form of financial embarrassment.

“Be of good character and must not have been found guilty of any criminal offense.

“Present a certificate of state of origin signed by the Chairman/Secretary of their Local Governments.

“Certificates endorsed by Liaison officers are unacceptable.”

NCS is a parastatal operating under the Ministry of Interior with the sole responsibility of protection of the border, prevention of smuggling, among others.

According to the agency, all applications are to be made online, attempts to make hard copy submission with be turned down.

Applicants are advised to make their submissions by visiting the agency’s portal –  www.vacancy.customs.gov.ng

The deadline for submission of application is Monday, 7th May 2019.

Customs Impound 5,119 Bags Of Foreign Rice In Kano, Kaduna

Customs Generate Historic Revenue Figure Of N1trn
File photo

 

Officials of the Nigerian Customs Service have impounded 5,119 bags of illegally imported rice, vegetable oil and textile materials worth millions of Naira in Kaduna and Kano States.

The National Co-ordinator in charge of the Comptroller General of Customs Strike Force, Abdullahi Kirawa, disclosed this on Wednesday while displaying the seized items in Kaduna.

He told journalists that the goods were smuggled into the country through the Kano-Jigawa illegal borders and were intercepted by his men based on intelligence information.

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Kirawa explained that the seizure of the goods was in line with the Federal Government’s directive of zero tolerance for importation of rice and other banned products through illegal routes.

He, therefore, advised those that engage in smuggling to desist from such acts, and take advantage of the Federal Government’s policy on local rice production in order to assist the country in attaining self-sufficiency in rice production.

Furthermore, Kirawa announced that arrests have been made and the suspects will soon be charged to court after investigation.

Family Of Slain Driver In Abeokuta Demand Justice

Owerri, Court, NBAFamily members of a slain commercial driver allegedly killed by men of the Nigerian Customs Service in Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital, have demanded justice.

They have asked appropriate authorities to ensure that the killer of Sabauna Onila, a father of four, does not go unpunished.

Lamenting over the loss, Onila’s mother pleaded that the government should intervene in the case, as her son had been the only one taking care of her while he was alive.

”Government should have mercy on me, it has been three years I have been at home. I am sick and he was the one who has been taking care of me before this unfortunate incident happened so, government should ensure justice is done,” she said.

A committee set up for the defense of human rights in the state has also called on the Federal Government to have a review of operations of the service while ensuring justice is served.

The committee’s chairman believes that the “right to life is a non-negotiable right; you don’t have the right to take my life unjustly. The killing is condemnable – we cannot fold our arms and allow this to continue running.

”We have come out as a civil society organisation with the responsibility of defending people’s rights to tell them that the rights of the people is non-negotiable, we have asked the Federal Operations Unit of the Nigerian Customs Service and the state command to relocate to the borders for effectiveness.

“If our borders are not well protected and allow the passage of these suspected smuggled goods, then it should be their fault,” the committee chairman stressed.

Also speaking on the case, the state Commissioner of Police, Ahmed Iliyasu, said the police is on top of the situation as the incident is still being investigated.

”All other security agencies have concerns for the life and property of the citizens of this country.

“The state government, as well as other security agencies are on top of the situation, they are having a discreet look at the situation and the issue is an issue that is being given proper attention by the government so that the stability and peace of state will continue to be guaranteed,” he said.

Youths, Traders Protest Over Alleged Invasion Of Rice Market

students protestSome youths and traders have brought activities and vehicular movement on the ever busy Lagos-Abeokuta expressway to a halt, following a protest over alleged invasion of the rice market by men of the Nigerian Customs Service.

The protest which was said to have lasted for hours, took the intervention of the Sango Ota Police Area Commander, Adegoke Fayoade, to restore normalcy to the area.

Meanwhile, the Customs Public Relations Officer, Federal Operation Unit, Jerry Attah, dismissed the claims of market invasion, explaining that men of the command on surveillance noticed smugglers were moving rice in bulk on motorcycles from a canoe to a store in the area.

He added that the command only evacuated some of the alleged smuggled rice at the warehouse in the early hours of Wednesday.

The Ogun State Police Public Relations Officer, Abimbola Oyeyemi, told Channels Television that normal activities have been restored to the area

Nigerian Customs Impounds 17 Items Worth Over N194 mln

Nigeria Customs Seize Container Of Ready To Eat FoodThe Nigerian Customs Service, Federal Operations Unit (Zone C) Owerri, has announced its resolve to put to an end to smuggling of contraband goods into the country with the seizure of 17 prohibited items recovered worth the sum of 194, 656 million Naira in January.

Speaking during the showcase of seized items at the premises of the customs warehouse Enugu, the Customs Area Comptroller in charge of the unit, Comptroller Mohamed Uba Garba, told journalists that eight suspects were arrested in connection to the seizure.

According to him, nine out of the seized items were vehicles worth over 35 million Naira, 382 pieces of used tyres valued at about 6.3 million, and 3077 bags of foreign rice worth about 80 million.

Garba explained that the ban became imperative because the activities of smugglers have continued to threaten lives of Nigerians and to a huge extent affects the nation’s economy negatively as rice smuggling affects the local rice production.

As for the tyres, he said they had expired from the country they were being manufactured, hence, using them in Nigeria would lead to many accidents.

“Rice smuggling has the capacity to depress the nation’s economy because it reduces government revenue, stifles domestic rice industries in addition to distorting supply and consumption data usually applied by the government as reference for sound policy planning”.

He then advised that people should make demands of customs duty and also go to customs office to cross check if it was being paid to avoid breaching of law.

The customs boss however warned those involved in the business to desist from doing so as disciplinary actions would be taken against them.

“NSC will not entertain any sacred cow involved in this illegal import and export of businesses”.

Rivers State Lays Claim To Bell Helicopters In Lagos

Rivers State Lays Claim To Bell Helicopters In LagosBarely a day after two Bell helicopters seized by the Nigerian Customs Service were handed over to the Nigerian Air Force in Lagos, the Rivers state government has claimed ownership of the aircraft.

In a statement, the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike claims that he had written officially to the President asking that the helicopters which were procured by the immediate past administration, be handed over to the Nigerian Air Force.

He said: “These helicopters were imported by the immediate past administration. When I assumed office, we wrote to the Federal government that it was strictly for security use. What am I going to use armoured helicopters for?

“In any case, where will the Rivers State Government get money at this time to import armoured helicopters? The previous administration imported it because they had the money.

“I went to the Federal Government to give me a waiver for us to clear the helicopters, but the Federal Government refused.

“I wrote a letter to the President and to assure him that the helicopters are meant for security purposes, it should be handed over to the Nigerian Air Force.”

The Deputy Comptroller General of Customs, Dan Ugo, had alleged that the importers of the helicopters failed to comply with the necessary import requirements and vowed to go after them.

The state government wonders why the security agencies would resort to what the government describes as political blackmail when the facts contained in documents on the two helicopters are not hidden.

It added that the helicopters were to be used to monitor the creeks in the state, but due to the refusal of the federal government to waive the import duties on them, which it claims the state could not afford, Governor Wike opted to have the helicopters handed over to the Air Force.

“I am surprised that they have started propaganda and political falsehood on the said armoured helicopters.  What kind of country are they turning Nigeria into?

“We stated that we cannot pay the Custom duties because the helicopters are not for commercial use. They are to be used to monitor the creeks and track criminals.

“I wrote to the President to give the helicopters to the Air Force. It is shocking that the Custom would turn around to claim that they impounded the helicopters. The Chief of Staff to the President admitted that I have done well when I wrote the letter to the President.”

Customs Discover Bags Of Plastic Rice, Warns Nigerians To Be Vigilant

Customs, Plastic Rice, NigerianThe Nigerian Customs Service in Lagos, has uncovered 102 bags of plastic rice imported into the country.

According to the Federal Operations Unit ”Zone A” of the service, the smugglers had planned to cash in on the rush for the staple food during the festive season.

Comptroller of the Unit, Mr Haruna Mamudu, told journalists that his men are working to unravel how the products came into the country.

Meanwhile, Nigerians have been warned to also be extra vigilant as they purchase consumables ahead of the yuletide.

Since recession hit Africa’s largest economy, there has been an upsurge in the cost of the staple food from about 12,000 Naira per bag of rice to over double that amount.

Rice Exportation

As a way of seeking solutions to the recession, the federal government, as well as several economic analysts, suggested a ban on the importation of such products which the nation’s farmers can produce, though not in sufficient quantity.

The government said it can no longer sustain the importation of foreign rice which has continued to hamper the growth and development of the nation’s peasant farmers who are into local production.

The increase in prices has pushed many to resort to smuggling of rice to be able to sell cheaper to Nigerians.

The Anchor Borrowers’ Programme is one of the initiatives by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), that has immensely supported farmers in the local production of rice.

Based on the yields so far, Acting Director, Corporate Communication, CBN, Mr Isaac Okoroafor, had however said that before the end of 2017, Nigeria will begin to export rice to other countries.

Nigerian Ports Authority To Improve Operational Efficiency

Nigerian Ports Authority To Improve Operational Efficiency Managing Director of the Nigeria Ports Authority, Hadiza Usman, has hinted that the agency’s priority along with the federal government is to improve its operational efficiency.

The NPA MD, revealed this on Channels Television’s breakfast programme Sunrise Daily, where she also explained that the government is working towards improving Nigeria’s business environment.

It has been 10 years since the ports went into a concession agreement and this according to Usman has indeed been successful.

However, she stressed a need to review the agreement in order to improve the ease of doing business in Nigeria.

“We are ten years into the concession agreement with the terminal operators and we believe that there’s a need to review the concession agreement.

She explained that there is a stipulated timeline for the review which should be every two years but for some reason that has not been done.

Usman however believes it is now a very appropriate time to do the review. “We have started the procedure of reviewing the respective agreements that we have across our terminals.

“The terminal operators themselves are keen to have a review because there are areas that we need to look at, 10 years post concession.

Highlighting some issues regarding the Nigerian ports, such as competitiveness and pricing, Usman stated that “the NPA is looking at the respective tariffs across the West African coast and in Africa indeed, to see how competitive our ports are”.

According to her, ports in western and central Africa are not keen to having their tariffs made public.

“I think these are some of the things we need to do as agencies of government, we need to enshrine transparency and we have started by putting our tariffs on our website.

“This is the first time the Nigerian Ports Authority is putting all our respective tariffs for the Nigerian public to see.

“We are also going to the next step of publishing them in the newspapers so that you are aware of anything the Nigerian Ports Authority is charging.

“It is important to have that transparency,” she stressed.

“The second leg to our challenge has to do with our operational competitiveness, how efficient are our ports.

“How easy is it for an entity to come into our ports, clear your goods and get out of the ports within a timely manner? Usman questioned.

However as a solution to this, she reiterated that “there are agencies of government that interface with us and we are working with them to ensure that we improve on these operational efficiencies”.

Furthermore, she revealed that one of the things that the agency is putting in place is “the national single windows project, and NPS is working on a ports community system whereby all our operations are domiciled in one single platform.

“We are working to do an interface with the Nigerian customs service and every other agency that operates in the ports, whereby you can have ease of operations.”

Reps Oppose Ban On Vehicle Importation Through Land Borders

Reps Kick Against Ban On Vehicle Importation Through Land BordersThe House of Representatives has asked President Buhari to suspend the ban on importation of new and used cars through land borders.

The ban which was announced on December 5, 2016 by the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) is due to take off from January 1, 2017.

The lawmakers, however, say the policy is too harsh as it would further worsen the economic situation of many Nigerians who are already groaning under the prevailing recession.

The decision of the lawmakers followed the adoption of a motion by Representative Abubakar Salami who noted that the percentage of Nigerians who can afford cars has reduced drastically following the decline in the value of naira, inflation and unemployment.

He said that the Federal government has not put in place alternative measures to ensure that Nigerians have access to cars, “since it is cheaper to buy cars from neighbouring countries and still generate revenue by ensuring that our borders are secured”.

“Some of those making these policies have failed to patronise the made-in-Nigeria goods, especially Nigerian Assembly vehicles which are in any case not affordable to over 80% of Nigerians who can only afford fairly used imported vehicles.

“The ban will cause more harm than good and it will certainly lead to the increase of smuggling,” he said.

Nigerian Customs Impounds Truck Carrying Imported Frozen Foods

customs, owerri, The Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Operations Unit, Zone C, Owerri, on Thursday impounded and destroyed imported frozen poultry products, with duty paid value of 109 million Naira.

The new Zonal Comptroller, FOU Zone C, Mohammed Garba, disclosed this while briefing newsmen at the zonal headquarters in Owerri the Imo state capital, South East Nigeria.

He confirmed that the men and officers of the command, made the seizure when they intercepted a DAF truck with registration number LND 641 XM, loaded with 11,315 cartons of imported frozen poultry products, along the Benin Republic axis.

This, according to him, took place barely two days after he assumed office as the new Area Comptroller of the Federal Operations Unit Zone C, Owerri.

Shedding more light on the seizure, the zonal comptroller said that the smugglers devised a new method of smuggling named ‘false bottom’, which according to the officers, was fashioned by die-hard smugglers to beat the men of the Nigerian Customs.

According to Mr Garba, the operation was “spectacular” because of its method of concealment.

Explaining how the ‘false bottom’ strategy is carried out, he said “the smuggled goods are stockpiled in the inner chamber of the partition, which is aimed at deceiving Customs officials.

He revealed that two suspects had been arrested in connection with the seizure, and were helping them in preliminary investigations.

Mr Garba, however, warned all smugglers or intending smugglers to desist from the illegal business and economic sabotage as measures have been put in place to fight any vices, especially during the coming festive season.

“This should serve as a signal to smugglers and intending smugglers to desist from this illicit business because the present leadership of the Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Customs, Col. Hammed Ali Rtd and his management team, is now better equipped, empowered and restructured to combat smuggling to its barest minimal,” the Zonal Comptroller said.

The Customs Boss also used the opportunity to advise all Nigerians to be more mindful of what they consume as well as the purchase of poultry products that have been banned by the Nigerian Customs service.