Federal Operations Unit, FOU, Zone ‘C’, an anti smuggling unit of the Nigeria Customs Service in Owerri, in 2015 recorded a total of 467 seizures, with an overall Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N2, 709,807,358.
The Customs Area Controller of the Unit, Comptroller Dimka Victor David, who indicated this last week in a chat with news men, gave a graphic detail in respect of his obligation of nipping all forms of smuggling activities in both the South-East and South-South zones of Nigeria, noted that 316 suspects smugglers were also arrested; culminating in one conviction, seven cases won, while 23 cases were still in court.
The unit, according to Dimka, also recovered the sum of N130, 144,103 as underpayment on some items, providing a comparative analysis of seizure report and duty recovered with year 2014 which shows a geometric growth in result of suppressing smuggling within the zone.
“The current seizure report with duty paid value is 29% and 50% in increase respectively when compared to seizure report of year 2014 that recorded 363 seizures with Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N1, 805,843,064.00″ he indicated further.
“A breakdown of the command’s 2015 performance shows a seizure-profile of 343 vehicles; 378 bales of bags/suitcases with 466 pieces; 6,472 pieces of imported used tyres; 8,855 cartons of foreign frozen poultry products; and 2,758 bales of imported textile materials.
“Others were 10 cartons of foreign beverages/juice; 2,584 bags of 50kg imported rice; 6,747 pairs of foot wears; 45 cartons of electrical/electronic equipment; 108 cartons of foreign vegetable oil; 1,387 packages of foreign furniture with 126 pieces; and 412 cartons of foreign soaps and detergents”, he stated, explaining that 1,561 cartons of fake drugs along with 7,493 bales of second-hand clothing and 5,642 cartons of other contraband items were equally impounded by the unit during the year under review.
“This increase also featured in the current report on duty recovered through DN issued as the increase represented in percentage of 81 percent is above the sum of N72,762,029 recovered on 59 Demand Notice (DN) issued and recorded in year 2014″, he also observed.
The CAC denounced the upsurge of smuggling activities in the country despite stiff penalties for culprits arrested; warning those still trapped in the illicit business to desist forthwith in their own interest, as the NCS has been further fortified, to deal with the nagging problem of smuggling being perpetrated by some unpatriotic individuals who are desperate to make quick money to the detriment of the nation’s economy.
He equally assured that the NCS under the leadership of the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd.) would continue to apply decency and professionalism in the discharge of its statutory responsibilities even as he emphasized that officers found guilty of official misconduct would be strictly dealt with, and decried isolated cases of unwarranted media attack and blackmail against the NCS by some sections of the media, stressing the need for the media to always contact his office for verification of facts whenever necessary.
Dimka appealed to members of the public with useful information about smugglers: their agents, sponsors and collaborators, to contact law enforcement agencies for prompt action, emphasizing that such vital information would be handled with utmost confidentiality.
In the meantime, no fewer than 500 workers in the Kwara state public service have reportedly died due to the non-payment of their salaries and entitlements by the local and state governments in the past four months in the state.
The workers of the 16 local government councils in the state and those of the state tertiary institutions at the three state colleges of education in Oro, Ilorin and Lafiagi and the State College of Islamic and Legal Studies, (CAILS), Ilorin, had been on strike since November last year due to non-payment of over five months.
Also last week, teachers in primary and junior secondary schools in the state commenced their indefinite strike over the non-payment of four months of salaries while the teachers of senior secondary schools in the state have joined the strike in solidarity with their colleagues in both primary and junior secondary schools.
The state branch of Association of Local Government Chairmen of Nigeria, ALGON, Alhaji Lattef Okandeji has appealed to the striking teachers to be patient with them as all efforts have been put on ground to look for alternative windows to pay the backlog of unpaid salaries of teachers in the state.

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