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March 1, 2024

Customs intercepts foreign rice, others worth N1.76bn in September

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Seized rice
Seized rice

By Chiazo Ogbolu

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), the Federal Operations Unit, Zone A, Ikeja, said it intercepted eight trailer loads of foreign parboiled rice and others worth N1.76 billion in September.

The acting Controller General of Customs (CGC), Mr Adewale Adeniyi, said this at a news conference on Friday in Lagos.

Adeniyi said the seizures took place at various times and locations within the border corridors of the South-West states.

He added that the unit generated N72.8 million in revenue through meticulous documentary checks and the issuance of demand notices on those that paid lesser amounts than the appropriate customs duty.

According to him, agriculture, being the cornerstone of Nigeria’s economy, underscores the Federal Government’s commitment to achieving self-sustaining growth and enhancing the quality of life for all Nigerians.

“In alignment with this commitment and the spirit of patriotism, our dedicated officers executed a series of operations resulting in the interception and seizure of 7,029 50kg bags of foreign parboiled rice.

“The objective of this action is twofold; to discourage potential traders from engaging in smuggling activities and to inflict financial losses on active smugglers,” he said.

Adeniyi noted that beyond the parboiled rice seizures, the operations of the unit yielded significant results in September with the interception of various goods.

He said the goods include 35,100 liters of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), 1,100 liters of diesel and 40-foot container carrying 360 bales of used clothes.

Others were one 40-foot container containing 150 cartons of ladies’ handbags, 50 bales of nickers, and other falsely declared items, one 20-foot container of unprocessed wood.

“Also included are 106 cartons of foreign frozen poultry, 55 pieces of used fridges, 110 pieces of used compressors, 148 cartons of foreign soap, 121 cartons of expired hair oil and 25 units of vehicles (Tokunbo),” he said.

According to him, investigations into some of these seizures are ongoing.

He added that 14 suspects had been apprehended in connection with various offences.

He said the offences include violating import/export guidelines, concealment, undervaluation, wrong classification, smuggling, and contravening policy directives.

Adeniji, however, urged importers and licensed agents to make sincere declarations, adhere to existing import and export guidelines, and avoid the risk of losing their investments.

“Compliance is not only a legal obligation but also a strategic choice that ensures the smooth and efficient flow of goods across our borders,” he said. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

Edited by Chinyere Joel-Nwokeoma

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