By Tina George, Minna
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has confirmed that against the policy of Dangote Group, its drivers were often involved in smuggling activities.
The Area Comptroller in charge of Niger/Kwara/Kogi, Yusuf Abba-Kassim said most of the drivers caught smuggling with Dangote trucks do so without the knowledge or authorization of the office.
Abba-Kassim gave the explanation while parading seized Dangote truck carrying 520 bags of rice and impounded by the Customs for smuggling along Mokwa-Jebba road.
“This is not the only Dangote vehicle arrested, there are a lot of the drivers of Dangote vehicles who get themselves involved in smuggling.
“These drivers, after delivering their consignment of cement get involved in smuggling without the knowledge or authorization of the company. So arresting these vehicles does not mean Dangote is involved in smuggling. “
The Comptroller further explained that the management of Dangote group were aware of the sharp practices of the drivers and had signed an undertaking with the Customs that they were not into smuggling.
“The management of Dangote have signed an undertaking with the Management of the Nigeria Customs that the smuggling is without the knowledge of the company and if any of its vehicles are seized, the drivers should be arrested but the trucks should be released back to them.”
He disclosed that the Command generated over N814.7 million in the first quarter of 2019, which is the highest the Command had recorded in the past three years.
“In spite of lull in business activities due to 2019 general elections, between January to March this year, the Command has generated N814,755,563.86 which is the highest in the past three years, even when the Command is yet to recieve official communication of the revenue target for the fiscal year 2019.”
He gave a breakdown of the amount generated in the past three years as N539.1 million in 2016, N417.3 million in 2017 and N387.2 million in 2018.
Kassim further said that N210.4 million was generated in January, N4.3 million in February and N599.9 million was generated in March 2019.