Customs seizes imported dead rats, birds, others at Seme border - NEWS FRONTIER DAILY


Tuesday, April 4, 2023

Customs seizes imported dead rats, birds, others at Seme border

The Nigerian Customs Service, NCS Seme Area Command, has seized 1160 pieces of dead rats, 1102 pieces of dead tiny birds and 34 pieces of monkey skin and 14 parcels of cannabis sativa.

Customs Area Controller Seme Command, Comptroller Dera Nnadi, gave gave the figures during a media briefing of the First Quarter, Q1 performance of NCS Seme Area Command and the Handing Over of Fake $6 million to the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC and Handing Over of other seized items to partner government agencies at Seme, Badagry. 

He explained that the command found that an international syndicate specialises in such illicit deal, saying: "We must be conscious of the fact that the entire world is battling with various, diseases. We just came out of Ebola and Corona Virus, who knows what would come out of this dead rats and birds if they are not seized."

Nnadi said that the Command has in the Q1of 2023 facilitated the movement of  ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme, ETLS: 425 Trucks with fees amounting to N314, 721 million; 412 baggage declarations with duty amounting to N58, 844 million.

He said that the items imported under this arrangement included food products and beverages produced within the sub-region.

For export, he said that 1,243 trucks bearing 40,096.47 metric tons of made in Nigeria cargo declared on 165 Single Administrative Documents (SAD) with Free On Board value of N4, 291 million and National Export Supervision Scheme, NESS fee of N21, 457 million.

He pointed out that during the same period in 2022, 3006 trucks bearing 116,053.9 metric tons of cargo with FOB value of N6, 598 million with NESS fee of N32, 989 million was recorded.

His words: "Regrettably, there is a shortfall in export to the tune of 75.000 metric tons of cargo due to competition between Dangote Cement and competitors in the cement market at Togo.

"Other source of revenue for the Command are fees collected from the auction sales of seized items especially petroleum products and other perishable items.

'To this end, the Command generated a total of N350, 099 million in the Q1 of 2023, showing N105,095 million or 23.09 percent short of N455,195 million collected in the corresponding period in 2022.

"The deficit could be attributed to lull in activities during the cashless policy and the wait by the traders for the outcome of the general election. The economic policy of the Republic of Benin who charge fees on goods in transit to Nigeria constitute tariff barriers to trade along the corridor.

 These affected the Commands revenue and need urgent review.

"One core mandates of the Service in Seme as elsewhere is trade facilitation. The Command is conscious of its strategic location as the foremost frontier for trade and tourism in West and Central Africa particularly the ETLS and the emerging African Continental Free Tade Area, AFCFTA.

"Nigeria has lots of potentials in both trade regimes considering its GDP. population and industrial capacity which is the highest in the West and Central Africa subregion and indeed Africa.

"However, I wish to repeat that the major source of revenue of the Command (import/export) have not been enhanced since the opening of the land Borders as directed by the Federal Government of Nigeria as the traders are still bracing with the challenges of having been put of business for over two years.

"Where few have embraced the reality of the circumstances. they have requested and appealed for a review of the process of obtaining approvals for re-exportation which requires that they go to Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning at Abuja for every application for re-exportation.

"Realising that a secured border will translate to more revenue even at the sea ports, Seme Command in the first quarter of 2023 has recorded milestones in its anti-smuggling operations. Some of the anti-smuggling landmarks by the Command include: the seizure of fake $6 million (equivalent of N2.763 billion at exchange rate of N460.52) which will be handed over to the EFCC today.

"Also seized in the first quarter is 2, 242 bags of 50kg rice equivalent to 112.100 kg or four trailer loads of foreign par boiled with Duty Paid Value of N72, 700 million.  7, 587 by 30 liters of Premium Motor Spirit equivalent of 227,610 liters or Seven Tanker loads of Petroleum Motor Spirit, PMS with duty paid value of N51, 075 million.

"550 pieces of donkey skin with duty paid value of NI0, 689 million. Also seized are six Maltese International Passports with the same picture of a lady but bearing different names, two Senegalese International Passports, three Togolese International Passports,  Four Republic of Benin International Passports, one Republic of Niger International Passport and Ten (10) International Driving License of these various countries which will be handed over to the Nigeria Immigration Service on the orders of the CGC and in line with the Service desire to consolidate the synergy between NCS and partner agencies.

"Also seized by the Command is 1160 pieces of dead rats. 1102 pieces of dead tiny birds and 34 pieces of monkey skin and 14 parcels of cannabis sativa,"be said.

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