Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Port Harcourt II Command, Rivers State, has recorded a total of 136.97 million metric tons of exported goods with a total Free On Board (FOB) value of $1.13 billion (N409billion) at Onne Port. Also, the command said between January and March, this year, nine containers comprising 57,300 pieces of machetes without end-user certificates; 2,000 jerry cans of 25 litres of vegetable oil; 6,456 cartons of foreign soap; 535 bales and 142 cartons of wears and 69 bags of foreign rice with a total Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N106.88 billion intercepted. In 2018, the command noted that the service seized N1.62 billion worth of contraband at Onne Port.
Some of the smuggled goods intercepted at the port included 9 x 40 feet containers of tramadol, hyergra, diclofenac and analgesic tablets of different types and 64×20 feet containers of foreign parboiled rice.Speaking on the development, the command’s Area Controller, Comptroller Aliyu Saidu, said the seizures followed various infractions such as false declaration, concealment, wrong classification, imports without end user certificate, complete disregards of import and export guidelines with intent to smuggle in illicit goods.
He explained that the command generated a total of N94.04 billion in 2018 which was about 80 per cent of allotted annual target of N117.8 billion.In a statement issued by its Public Relations Officer (PRO), Ifeoma Onuigbo Ojekwu, the comptroller stressed that a comparative review of the preceding year indicated that the command realised N373.22 billion more than it did in 2017, bringing it to about 0.35 per cent increase in the revenue collection. He noted that smuggling had posed a high threat to both the national economy and security and that was why those who engage in it were considered as economic saboteurs.Saidu added: “It is worrisome and very unfortunate that despite the wide awareness on the dire consequences of smuggling activities on economic growth and development, some citizens still find joy in perpetuating this evil act only for their personal gains.”
He added that the command had worked in synergy with other Customs Units such as the Customs Intelligence Unit (CIU), Valuation, Comptroller General’s Strike Force and Post Clearance Audit (PCA) to achieve maximum compliance to the extant laws on import and export for increased revenue generation and antismuggling feat. Saidu, who said the command recorded a high level of compliance on export declarations, said a total of 136.97 million metric tons of exported goods with a total Free On Board (FOB) value of $1.12 billion which is equivalent to N409,08 billion was realised.