Amid Scarcity, Ogun Customs Intercepts 22,600 Litres Of Petrol From Smugglers

KOREDE FOGO
Except for the intervention of officers of the Ogun State command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), smugglers would have smuggled 22,600 litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), out of the country to Benin Republic.
The interception was coming against the backdrop of biting fuel scarcity currently ravaging the country, especially Ogun State.
BUSINESSINSIDERNG gathered that currently due to the fuel scarcity, Petrol sells between N750 to N950 in the state.
However, addressing journalists in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital, the Customs Area Controller, Ogun 1 Command, Compt. James Ojo, said aside the PMS, other seizures are,
90 sacks and 1,309 parcels of cannabis sativa; 1,596 pieces of foreign used pneumatic tyres; 2,922 bags of foreign parboiled rice of 50kg each; 32 bales of used clothes and 1,603 Cartons of frozen poultry products.
According to him, there are ongoing efforts to address the identified challenges that hinder the flow of trade along the corridor.
“During the period under review, the Command made a total seizure of 103 items comprising 90 sacks and 1,309 parcels of cannabis sativa; 1,596 pieces of foreign used pneumatic tyres; 2,922 bags of foreign parboiled rice of 50kg each; 32 bales of used clothes, 1,603 Cartons of frozen poultry products, and 22,600 litres of Premium Motor Spirit, among others.
“The cumulative Duty Paid Value (DPV) of the seized items amount to N380.3million. It is of essence to state that the aforementioned items were intercepted at different locations within Ogun State, with the aid of intensive intelligence strategies and concerted efforts of our intelligence network such as the Customs Intelligence Unit, DSS and others,” Compt. Ojo stated.
The Customs boss, however, bemoaned the negative effect of the seized items on citizens’ health and the nation’s economy.
He stated that Indian hemp is a psychoactive drug with adverse effects on the lives of its consumers.
“Cannabis has a devastating effect on the lives of its consumers, especially our youths. The rise in its abuse is of great concern within the Nigerian society and a threat to our national security, due to its potential influence on criminal activities, such as armed robbery, banditry, cultism, kidnapping terrorism and other criminalistics.
“Foreign-used Pneumatic Tyres, more commonly known as Tokunbo tyres, are ring-shaped protective coverings made of rubber and filled with compressed air, typically used in foreign countries, and shipped into the country after use overseas. These tyres are deemed unsuitable for our highways because, significant number of them have exceeded their recommended lifespan from their manufacturing dates.
“According to safety experts, good-quality pneumatic tyres are safe for use for only four years from the date of manufacturing. Any usage beyond this duration poses a significant risk to motorists and put their lives in jeopardy. Rice is a staple food eaten in many homes in the country. Its importation through the land borders was prohibited by the Federal Government of Nigerian (FGN) to encourage local production and be self-sufficient, as Nigeria is blessed with vast and fertile lands.
“This policy of the FGN may be perceived as difficult and unfriendly, but has a long-term great benefit when embraced. For instance, the much-appreciated foreign rice is a local produce in the countries of exportation, and these countries commenced their production with insignificant quantity before getting to their present commercial status.
“In a nutshell, the persistent smuggling of rice will continue to hamper our economic growth and development as a nation. We will overcome the economic situation in the country by God’s grace. Let us give the required support and cooperation to Nigeria Customs Service, and by extension to the FGN to improve our social security and economic wellbeing.
“To complement our anti-smuggling exploits, the Command generated the sum of N14,628,661 as revenue through baggage assessment and auction sales of petroleum products. Presently, the trading activities across the border is not encouraging but effort is ongoing to address the identified challenges that hinder the flow of trade.
 
“We are hopeful that this will enhance our revenue profile significantly. Let me use this medium to encourage our compliant traders to remain steadfast and be assured of our maximum cooperation. Our doors are widely open for consultation and required support. “On this note, I will like to send a note of warning to economic saboteurs to steer clear of smuggling activities and embrace legitimate trade. Anyone caught in the act will be made to face the wrath of the law,” he warned.

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