Ogun State Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has intercepted 6,194 smuggled bags of rice, 33 vehicles and other contrabands worth over N382million, according to a statement on Tuesday.
The seizures also include 395 kegs of vegetable oil (25 litres each), 340 kegs of petrol, 1,954 pairs of footwear and seven bales of secondhand clothing.
Michael Agbara, the state NCS comptroller, who disclosed this while briefing reporters at the Idiroko border office, said the contrabands were seized in August.
Agbara, who stated that 45 cartons of frozen poultry products, 150 cartons of Ceres red grape juice and five cartons of Ribena currant juice were among the seizures, told reporters that the duty paid value of all the goods was N382,263,360.
According to him, the command has improved on its revenue generation and suppression of smuggling activities.
He explained that within the month of August, the agency generated a total revenue of N799,682,839.62 which was N71 million excess of a monthly revenue target of N727,775,499.91.
The comptroller further noted that the seizure of 6,194 bags of foreign rice last month was the highest monthly seizure ever made in the command since the inception of the Federal Government policy on agricultural development in the area of boosting local rice production.
He said 27,085 bags of rice have so far been intercepted from January till date, adding that the figures exceeded the 21,789 bags seized by the command throughout 2017.
“The anti-smuggling success story is a blow to smugglers who wanted to exploit the avenue of Sallah festivities to perpetuate their illicit act and orchestration to the fact that officers and men of Ogun command have fulfilled the promise of curtailing the activities of economic saboteurs,” he said.
Agbara also disclosed that in line with headquarters directive, his command recently handed over 11,057 bags of rice and other perishable goods to internally displaced persons in Borno State through Nigerian Army Corps of Transport and Logistics.
He added: “The command equally participated in a joint operation which has led to the seizure of a large quantity of petrol in a creek at Ijoun in which the quantity is yet to be ascertained due to ongoing evacuation.
“We wish to commend the patriotic role of our sister agencies, traditional leaders, eminent personalities and some host communities who have always partnered with us in our quest to effectively perform our statutory functions in compliance with extant government policies.”
He assured of the commitment of the command’s operatives to tackling smugglers and smuggling across the state.