The Headquarters compliance team, Ogun State axis has intercepted a Mack Truck fully loaded with one thousand, five hundred and thirty three (1,533) cartons of assorted brands of two (2) stroke engine generators popularly called I pass my neighbour recently along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
Similarly, the team in another operation intercepted a Maxi-Bus along the Sagamu-Ijebu-Ode expressway, laden with five hundred and forty-two (542) cartons of foreign frozen poultry products.
The team leader, Assistant Comptroller Shittu Almaruf disclosed this during a brief chat with some media practitioners, where he disclosed that his squad was saddled with the responsibility to enforce the fiscal policies of the Federal government with regards to trade, in conjunction with other anti-smuggling arms of the Nigeria Customs Service.
He disclosed that the team had been involved in series of seizures, apart from the most recent, stating that most of their seizures and detentions were usually domiciled in the nearest Customs formation, given the delicate nature of their assignment.
On the whereabout of the seized items, Shittu stated that the truck was taken to Customs House Abeokuta alongside the Mini-bus conveying the frozen poultry products, where 100% examination was conducted.
“The items were subjected to 100% examination to ascertain the quantity of items seized, following which they were converted to seizure in line with sections 46 & 47 of the Customs Management Act, Cap 45 LFN”, he said.
He stressed that the team was devising other means of ensuring that the activities of smugglers in their area of authority was curtailed adding that the team had been carrying anti-smuggling campaign to all the nooks and crannies of Ogun State, promising that his team would remain deeply committed to the task of suppressing smuggling.
Speaking on the reasons for seizing the generators, he stated that, “The Nigeria Customs is merely enforcing a law which emanated from a memo of the Federal Ministry of Environment advising the Government on its health implications. This ban came into effect on 28th April, 2011 and was officially gazette in May of the same year. Recall that the Federal Government gazette No 47 Volume 98 stated categorically that the purpose of this regulation is to restore, preserve and improve the quality of air”.
He stated further that it was specially intended to safe guard citizen’s right and access to clean air, reduce and prevent air pollution and improve the health of Nigerians especially in the urban areas with high incidence of air pollution in view of the poisonous gaseous emission.
“With regards to the seized frozen poultry products, we are not relenting in our effort to protect the health of Nigerians as well as the huge investments of our local farmers. We will continue to frustrate their (Smugglers’) efforts until they hearken to the voice of reason. These products, beyond the fact they fall under the import prohibition list, is also very detrimental to human health, hence not good for consumption”, he explained.
While commending the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hammed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd) and his Management for their support in areas of logistics, particularly for providing the necessary tools of operations, the team leader declared that the Headquarters Compliance Team would continue to monitor the nefarious activities of smugglers because of their natural perchance for criminality.
He stated that the compliance team was endowed with officers and men with the requisite capacity, competence and wherewithal to fight smugglers noting that the team had been faced with series of hostilities by miscreants and street urchins who pretended to be smugglers even as he pointed that such pressure cannot deter them from performing their constitutional duty of suppressing smuggling activities to its barest minimum.
The Assistant Comptroller however, promised that his team alongside other anti-smuggling arms would always protect the interest of compliant importers or their representative in line with the legitimate trade facilitation policy of the Service thereby calling on Nigerians to support the compliance team and other Customs formation in its war against smuggling.
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