Customs Recovers N83.14m From Importers At Tin-Can Island, Apapa Ports

The Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone A, of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), on Tuesday, said it recovered N83.14 million from importers who paid lesser Customs Duty to the federal government at the Apapa and Tin-Can Island Ports.

Speaking to journalists in Lagos during a press briefing, the Customs Area Controller, Compt. Hussein Ejibunu, said the revenue was recovered through documentary checks and issuance of demand notices on consignments that have exceeded the two seaports.

“On revenue recovery, the sum of N83.14 million was generated through documentary checks and issuance of demand notices on consignments that were found to have been short-paid,” he stated.

He also stated further that the unit intercepted 60 seizures with a Duty Paid Value (DPV), of N854.1 million in January, 2024.

Compt. Ejibunu, stated that the seizures were 23,025 litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), also known as petrol and 3,653 bags (6.5 trucks) of 50kg of foreign parboiled rice smuggled into the country from Benin Republic.

Others are 241 bales of used clothes; 1,490 kg of Indian Hemp; 1,220 cartons of foreign tomato paste; 983 pieces of used tyres; 104 units of Haojue motorcycles; 556 cartons of slippers and 11 units of used vehicles.

According to him, smuggling has serious repercussions on the economy, the environment, health and security, thereby, calling for collaboration and strong partnership with other critical stakeholders through sharing of information and intelligence.

“Smuggling is a crime that has to do with the act of false declaration and concealment of goods, the use of unapproved routes and ports for the exportation or importation of goods, forging of Customs documents, willful under-payment of Customs duties, and trafficking in prohibited or restricted goods among others.”

“The impact of smuggling has very serious repercussions on the economy, the environment, health and security. Thus, to restrain this trend of illegal commercial activities, there is the need for collaboration and strong partnership with other critical stakeholders through sharing of information and intelligence.”

“In a continuous and renewed vigour to fight smuggling, we activated an enhanced intelligence gathering and information sharing mechanism, and were able to identify some new smuggling hot spots and schemes employed by smugglers. This strategy yielded 60 seizures worth a total duty paid value of N854.1 million.”

“The status of these goods was found to have contravened different sections of the Customs Act (2023), while some expired at the time of importation; others flaunted the import statutory guidelines. A total of ten suspects were arrested in connection with some of the goods.”

He, however, warned the public against the consequences of smuggling, saying it is harmful.

“The general public is encouraged to be aware of the consequences of smuggling and its harmful effects; because it is this awareness that would help to reduce the demand for smuggled goods and discourage individuals from participating in smuggling activities.

“Having established the fact that smuggling is a crime which affects the general well being of the nation; it becomes compelling for all patriotic citizens to join the enforcement and regulatory agencies to curb the menace of smuggling,” he stated.

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