11th May, 2012
The Nigeria Customs Service, Ogun State Command has recorded an impressive performance in its revenue generation drive and anti-smuggling campaign in the 1st quarter of this year.
At press briefing held on Wednesday, at the Customs sentry, Idiroko, the Customs Area Controller, Ogun Command, DC Akande Bamidele, stated that during the period (January, February, March) the command collected N1,3 billion as against N730 million collected the same period in 2011.
There is a remarkable increase of N613 million.
He commended the officers and men of the command for working assiduously to achieve the monthly revenue target of N900 million given the command.
He attributed the astronomical increase in the revenue generated in the first quarter of this year to the import duties and taxes paid for the large number of imported vehicles which were hitherto smuggled into the country without payment of import duties and taxes.
He further stated that the effective anti-smuggling campaign and strategies the command adopted since he took over the affairs of the command on 20 January, 2012 has forced the smugglers to resort to legitimate declaration of the goods they carry rather than risking seizure of their goods.
“The tactics and strategies adopted in this sector by the command resulted in the appreciable revenue generated. The increase is as a result of the aggressive effort of officers and men of this command against smugglers.
“In the period under review (January-March, 2012), the command recorded 230 seizures with duty paid value of N153.4 million as against 320 seizures with duty paid value of N229.3 million the command recorded in the same period in 2011,” Bamidele explained.
He said that in the course of performing these functions, and given the precarious nature of the operational environment at the border area, his officers and men were frequently attacked by smugglers and hooligans who mobilise peace-loving community members against the Customs in order to have their way in their nefarious business of smuggling.
According to him, his officers were attacked with guns, cutlasses, charms and other dangerous weapons by smugglers.
Within the last two weeks, he added, his command came under two attacks, one at Ilase along Idiroko/Atan road where a group of smugglers attacked the customs officers with dangerous weapons in an attempt to retrieve the contraband items seized from them.
They were overpowered and one of the attackers was arrested with sword and charms.
Another attack took place at Obollo via Ayetoro where a smuggler in an attempt to escape arrest knocked down a Customs Assistant II, Deyemi Fatai.
The smuggler’s vehicle was shot at and the bullet hit the occupant, Omolegbe Toyosi, on the right leg and he is undergoing treatment at the Customs clinic, Idiroko while the smuggled tokunbo vehicle is now in the customs custody.