Seme Customs Collects, N1.160bn, N13.05bn Exports, Arrests 13 Suspects in Two Months

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By Innocent Orok

The Seme/ Krake border Command of the Nigeria Customs Service has generated a total of N1, 160,988, 987 between January and February of 2024.
The collection is from the year revenue target of N7.875 Billion, which represents an increase of over 400% compared to the target of 2023.

This also translates to a monthly collectible revenue of N656.258 Million. The breakdown of the collection shows the Command collected ₦643,038,611.16k in January, while in February, its collected ₦517,950,286.14, making a total of ₦1,160,988,897.30k. This is about 88% of the total expected revenue within the period.

Comptroller Timi Bomadi while briefing newsmen on Tuesday at the Seme border Command said the shortfall of revenue in both months collections can be attributed to the total aggregate decline in imports occasioned by the high exchange rate.

In the area of imports, the Command processed a total of 184 Export declarations for 43 items with a total weight of 65,185.96 Matric Tones and a Free On Board (FOB) value of N13.057 Billion. Also, the total amount collected for NESS was N65.337 Million and N24.407 Million as Export Surcharge for previously imported goods.

Comptroller Timi Bomadi said
“It is important first to highlight the numerous challenges encountered by officers in the course of enforcing government policies, the primary among which is the difficult terrain.

“However, since the provision of special purpose vehicles, and other critical assets by NCS Management, and the rejigging of inter-agency affairs, things have taken a positive turn here at the Seme/Krake joint border post”.

On Anti-Smuggling activities, the command between January and February 2024, successfully made 168 interventions which resulted in the seizure of 2,193 bags of 50kg (3 trailer load equivalent) foreign parboiled rice, 81,930 litres (3 tankers equivalent), nine vehicles, 1425 general merchandise, 265 parcels of Cannabis sativa and other narcotics, 149 packages of Codeine and two locally manufactured guns. The seizures have a combined
Duty Paid Value (DPV) of ₦365,888,696.

A total of Thirteen suspects were also arrested in connection with these seizures, six of them were granted administrative bail, three were handed over to NDLEA for further agency action, one was handed over to the Nigerian Police, while three suspects are still in Customs custody.

“At this point, it is important to highlight the importance of the Joint Security Meetings held regularly here at the Joint Border Post. These meetings provide valuable intelligence and opportunities to cross-fertilize ideas about border management.

“We note that collaboration holds the key to success in border management that’s why we’ve insisted on information sharing among sister agencies.

“In light of our present economic realities, where massive food shortages have been reported across the country, and in line with the directive to ensure grains are not exported illegally, the Command made a seizure of a truckload of beans, totaling 400 bags with a DPV of N61,450,00. The items were stockpiled in a warehouse at one of the exit corridors in the border. This item has since been deposited in the Government warehouse for safekeeping and eventual sale to the public.

“In the same vein, the continuous surveillance of the border by our officers and men has resulted in the interceptions of 400×30 litres of PMS equivalent of 12,000 litres with a DPV of ₦8,347,680 in the early hours of Saturday, 2nd March 2024 along the creeks. The PMS seized will be auctioned in line with the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) of sales of seized perishable items as directed by the Service.

“These seizures come on the heels of successes in anti-smuggling activities recorded in 2023, which saw 513 seizures of foreign parboiled rice, premium motor spirit, vehicles, General merchandise, drugs/narcotics, and vegetable oil.

“Others are $6,000,000 of fake currency, 15 fake International passports, 10 International Driver’s licenses, and 152 live birds and other endangered species. All with a Duty Paid Value of over N1.212 Billion, Bomodi said.

Comptroller Bomodi said the Lagos-Abidjan corridor of which the Lagos Badagry expressway is a major composite is a singular passageway accessible via multiple tributaries. “Our creeks and the Atlantic traverse this single entry point. That is why collaboration with the Nigerian Navy is imperative and significant. The Nigerian Air Force and Army have provided critical support throughout this period.

“As the lead agency in border security and facilitators of international trade, we are constantly aware of the need to balance both responsibilities through the use of risk management tools at our disposal. We are also aware that those whose illicit businesses have been significantly hindered by our activities will spare no effort in devising new methods to counter us. Some of these efforts will include misinformation and disinformation.

” We would like to assure the public that we will continue to remain alive to our responsibilities and will not be deterred by naysayers or anyone intent upon casting aspersions on our officers, some of whom have paid the ultimate price for the service to their country. Others have been severely maimed and will bear the scars of their bravery to their graves.

“These are challenging times for the Nigeria Customs Service. As criminals get more desperate and daring, we at Seme/Krake Joint Border Post will ensure the sustainability of a more formidable defense, Comptroller Bomodi warned. .

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