Seme Command Goes Tough On Smugglers


The Customs Area Comptroller of Seme Command, Sahabi Abubakar Sadiq, has said that he and his officers had zero tolerance for smuggling.

He said a lot had been achieved at the command, ranging from revenue generation, anti-smuggling measures, arrests and prosecutions, trade facilitation and newly established health centre.

The Comptroller described Seme border as one of the busiest and as a major gateway between Nigeria and the ECOWAS sub region, while restating the readiness of his officers and men to combat all acts of illegal business transactions and untrue declaration by importers and their agents.

The comptroller said a total of 306 seizures were made with duty paid value, DPV of N340,194,783 within the last six months.

According to him, the list of the seized items include vehicles, vegetable oil, poultry products, soap, textiles, second hand clothes, bags and a trailer load of galvanised iron pipes.

The Customs boss also displayed 27 wraps of weeds suspected to be Indian hemp impounded from some smugglers, concealed in an Abuja registered Honda car with registration number DY 467 RBC, which was handed over to Mr. Adamu Eigege, the Assistant Area Commander of NDLEA Seme Border (Operations and Intelligence).

Sahabi also said his command has discovered another method used by vehicle smugglers by using Corps diplomatic plate numbers and attaching diplomatic official complimentary cards to the vehicle particulars so as to beat his officers.

He showed journalists some of such cars from both Republic of Benin and Chad which include a brand new Honda Accord, a Honda CR-V SUV with registration number 6BDH455, a Mazda 626 numbered IPS7962RB and another car with plate number 26CD40.

The comptroller said the annual revenue target of N6 billion with a monthly average of N500 million for the year 2011 was given to the command and acknowledged that it managed to collect N2,759,359,775.20 representing 93 per cent of the target.

He, however, gave negative global economic meltdown, electioneering phobia both in Nigeria and the Republic of Benin as well as stoppage of bulk cargoes like rice, sugar, cement and iron rod through the border as some factors responsible for the low revenue when comparing the 2011 half year result to that of 2010 which stood at N3.17 billion.

According to him, between January and June this year, a total of 8,242 declarations were processed, assuring the stakeholders of ASYCUDA system.

“Goods can now be cleared at Seme in less than 24 hours and trade is facilitated without compromising our national security,” stated the Comptroller, adding that the major constraint of the command was human resistance to change and that it has suffered various forms of hazards and losses including blackmail and threat during the reviewed period.

According to him, some female officers had fatal accident which claimed lives, while one lost one of her legs and another his eyes to smugglers during exchange of gun shots.

He said the operational support the command enjoyed from Comptroller General of Customs, Alhaji Dikko Inde, cannot be overemphasised.

— Moses Falobi

Load more