Customs reiterates determination to suppress smuggling, prevent revenue losses


 The Nigeria Customs Service, Zone A, on Monday reiterated its determination to continually suppress smuggling and prevent loss of revenue in the Southwest.

The Acting Controller in the zone, DC Hussein Ejibunu, made the declaration in a statement issued in Lagos Mr Theophilus Duniya, the Public Relations Officer of the zone.

Ejibunu restated this following a recent complaint by some licenced Customs agents and freight forwarders about the presence of “Zone A’’ Customs officers at the ports access corridor.

He said strict compliance with the law by importers, agents and freight forwarders would guarantee seamless cargo movement across the zone’s area of coverage.

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“Customs in Zone A will never compromise its national security and economic interests on trade facilitation by allowing dangerous goods to pass unchecked

“It will also not allow consignments on which Customs duties have not been paid in full to leave without collecting the shortfalls through demand notices.

“Only persons or companies that have things to hide or have breached the Customs and Excise Management Act should be worried about the presence Customs officers anywhere they are seen.

“Traders or importers who are not dealing in contraband or in absolute prohibitions and have paid the right Customs duties should go about their businesses normally.

“Those who did not engage in false declarations, under declared or concealed to smuggle, should also be free to conduct their businesses,’’ the statement said.

Ejibunu said barely a month in his new post, containers and trucks confiscated by the zone were justifiably intercepted either as seizures or found to have evaded full duty payment.

He said also that in some of the trucks intercepted, bags of rice were concealed under cement, a potential danger to would-be consumers of the rice.

“Recently, more than 750 bales of used clothes were cleared and stocked in a warehouse; we got that information and acted as required.

“Gone are the days when clearing agents make false declaration of items and got away with it.

“We shall continue to intercept and investigate culprits with the view of bringing them to justice,’’ he stressed.

Ejibunu promised to look into allegations of corruption against some Customs officers and assured that culprits would be dealt with.

“Zone A will continue to serve as one of the layers of checks and defence against infractions as approved by Customs management in line with extant laws,’’ he stressed. (NAN)