Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Port Harcourt Area ll Command, has arrested two suspected smugglers in connection with contraband valued at N1.1 billion. Its spokesperson, Mrs. Ify Onuigbo, said a total of N118.96 billion revenue was generated for 2020.
She said that the amount collected in 2020 was N11.62 billion higher than the N107.33billion collected between January and December 2019. Its Area Controller, Comptroller Auwal Mohammed, said the command achieved its highest monthly collection of N13 billion under his watch despite challenges of COVID-19 and EndSARS protests which affected businesses globally. He explained that the command recorded a total quantity of 2.58 million tonnes of cargoes with Free On Board value (FOB) of $63.5 million. According to him, N278.88 million was generated under the Nigerian Export Supervision Scheme (NESS).
Mohammed also commended terminal operators at the port for their support towards increased revenue and efficiency. He said: “I must put on record that we have enjoyed very robust inter-agency collaboration with sister government agencies like the Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Army, Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Department of State Services (DSS), National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON).”
Mohammed noted that plans to install scanner in Onne would increase the command’s productivity, efficiency and capacity to detect concealments faster He added: “In the face of several challenges that impacted on shipping and port activities last year, our operatives were resilient, being at work always, even during the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak and the nationwide lockdown that followed.” On anti-smuggling, Mohammed said that two suspects were arrested in connection with some of the 37 seizures recorded by the command.
He listed the seizures to include 6,249,900 tablets of tramadol; 5,615 kegs of 25-litre vegetable oil; 817 bags of 50kg of rice; 3,047 bales of second-hand clothings; 86 bales of used handbags; 35 bales of used shoes; 1,460 pieces of used tyres; 6,500 pies of aluminium zinc; 1,738 cartons of foreign soaps; 650 pieces of canvas and two units of hiace bus. Others are 3,440 pieces of donkey hides/skin; 67 bales of fabrics; eight units of truck; 331 pieces of unprocessed wood; 76 pieces of doors; 641 bags of white cements; 110 pieces of car fan and 100 pieces of motor radiator, among others.