• Home
  • Library Materials

JULY 28TH, 2015 STATEMENT BY THE NIGERIA CUSTOMS SERVICE ON SEALIN

STATEMENT BY THE NIGERIA CUSTOMS SERVICE ON SEALING UP OF WAREHOUSE OF DEFAULTING RICE IMPORTERS ON 28TH JULY, 2015 

Gentlemen of the Press, 
You may wish to recall our running battles with Importers of Rice who enjoyed concession of preferential duty rates and levy in 2014. These Importers were beneficiaries of Rice Import Quota Policy, which specified a preferential duty rate of 10% and levy of 20% for their Imports. 

2. The policy was anchored on three main pillars. 
I. There was a national sufficiency gap which needed to be met in line with stipulated quotas allotted to beneficiaries. 
II. Beneficiaries were Rice Millers who have invested in the sector and created employment in the value chain. 
III. Quantity imported in excess of approved quotas will be subjected to the extant rate of 10% duty plus 60% levy. 

3. As we monitored the spate of importations by beneficiaries, we observed that many of them were importing in excess of their approved quotas. We wrote the affected Importers severally to notify them of duty liability at normal rate if they exceeded their quotas. Similarly, we published many notices in National Newspapers, including where affected Importers were mentioned with outstanding payments. 

4. These publications gave ultimatum to pay the outstanding charges against them. However, there were lots of interventions and clarifications required to establish firmly our case against the importers. In some cases, some of them claimed they needed to reconcile figures with the Ministry of Agriculture. 

5. You may also recall that we threatened to invoke sanctions on these importers if they do not meet with their obligations. Today, we are no longer issuing ultimatum. We are ready to walk the talk with decisive action to recover outstanding duty due to the Federal Government of Nigeria. 

6. As at today, 4 Importers are still indebted to the Federal Government to the tune of N23,603,479,402.44 (Twenty Three Billion, Six Hundred and Three Million, Four Hundred and Seventy Nine Thousand, Four Hundred and Two Naira, Forty Four kobo). The Importers involved are OLAM, Stallion/ Popular Foods/ Masco Agro, Ebony Agro and Conti Agro (Milan). Together, they have imported a combined excess of 750,253,03 Metric Tons, for which we expect payment at the extant duty rates and levies. 

7. Today, we are commencing the sealing up of their warehouses and business premises to prevent operation of those facilities. 
– We will not allow discharge of their imports in any of our ports. 
– The Importers and their sister or associated companies have been blocked from the Customs NICIS System, thus denying them access to make declarations. 

8. All these will be done preparatory to instituting full legal proceedings to compel them to pay what they owe Nigeria, when the Courts are back from recess.

9. While the Nigeria Customs Service is not opposed to concessions that help engineer economic growth, we shall continue to hold beneficiaries accountable to their obligations. For instance, there are beneficiaries in the Automotive and Hotel/ Hospitality Industries who have enjoyed concessions worth billions of Naira. We are compiling the names of these beneficiaries and will request them to justify the concessions they enjoyed. 

10. We are appealing to all genuine Importers not to exercise any fear as this is not designed to witch-hunt anyone. This exercise is only about enforcing payments that are legitimately due to the Federal Government of Nigeria. 

11. Thank you for your attention. 

JULY 9TH, 2015 LAUNCH OF OPERATION “HAWK DESCEND” REMARKS BY CAC

WELCOME ADDRESS BY THE CUSTOMS AREA CONTROLLER, SEME AREA COMMAND, NIGERIA CUSTOMS SERVICE COMPTROLLER NDALATI GARBA MOHAMMED AT THE LAUNCH OF  “OPERATION HAWK DESCEND” TOWN HALL MEETING ON TUESDAY , 7TH JULY 2015 

  • The Comptroller General of Nigeria Customs Service
  • The Director- General of NAFDAC
  • The ACG/ Customs Zonal Co-ordinator, Zone “A”
  • Customs Area Controllers
  • Distinguished Royal Fathers
  • President Poultry Association of Nigeria
  • Heads of Government Organizations
  • Stakeholders
  • Gentlemen of the Press
  • Ladies and Gentlemen 

It is my privilege and great pleasure to welcome you to this Town Hall Meeting and also the inaugural launching of a special anti-smuggling operation against illegal importation of Frozen Poultry Products Code named “Hawk Descend”. I also wish to express my profound gratitude to the Comptroller General of Customs (CGC), Abdullahi Dikko Inde CFR and his management team for choosing Seme Area Command for this patriotic initiative. 

As the busiest border control post and a hub in West African sub region, we at Seme Area Command are strategically placed to uphold the core objectives of the Nigeria Customs Service which are:

  • Suppression of smuggling to the barest minimum
  • Facilitating an enabling environment for legitimate trade
  • Collection of revenue and accounting for same

We have therefore intensified effort towards fulfilling these objectives and will leave no stone unturned in our mission. 

Our modest effort borne out of the capacity development initiative and logistic support of the CGC has led to declining rate of smuggling and improvement in revenue collection. The rate of smuggling declined from 458 seizures with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N198,276,657.00 in the first half of 2014 to 384 seizures with a PV of N142,555,243.00 in the first half of 2015. Goods seized within the period include vehicles, rice, vegetable oil, general goods and over 5,178 cartons of Frozen Poultry Products valued at N44,818,440.00. 

Conversely, the sum of N4,815,209,043.48 collected as revenue between January – June 2015 surpassed the sum of N4,330,670,435.26 collected within the same period last year (2014) by 5.3%. 
Despite coming under severe attack and antics of suspected smugglers and their sponsors, we remain undaunted in pursuit of national goal. An Officer CAIII (T), Olonitola G.M is still recuperating from severe burns sustained from a petrol bomb attack by yet to be identified suspected smugglers three (3) weeks ago. These murderers must not escape justice. In the face of hazards, our heads remain unbowed as full logistics supplied by our ingenious CGC have been deployed for maximum efficiency. 

One of the cardinal focus of the Customs Service is public enlightenment of national security, import, export and transit procedure. To this end, we enlisted the support of authorities and opinion leaders within our Area of Jurisdiction for collaborative support. In this regard we commend the effort of Nigerian Ambassador to the Republic of Benin, our Royal fathers, the Joint Border Security Agencies, Customs Community Relation members among others. Sir, we will continue to count on you as operation “Hawk Descend” takes off today. With all set for takeoff, we look forward to a better time for our Poultry Industry and good opportunity for our unemployed youths. 

Once again we say Welcome, Bienvenue , Mikabolo!!! 

JULY 9TH, 2015 LAUNCH OF OPERATION “HAWK DESCEND” REMARKS BY PRESIDENT

POULTRY ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA 

REMARKS BY THE NATIONAL PRESIDENT, DR. AYOOLA ODUNTAN POULTRY ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA ON THE OCCASION OF THE LAUNCHING OF OPERATION “HAWK DESCEND” BY THE NIGERIA CUSTOMS SERVICE (NCS) AT SEME BORDER, LAGOS STATE , 7TH JULY 2015 

The Poultry Association is pleased with the leadership and Management of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and the National Agency for Food, Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) on the occasion of the launching of operation “Hawk Descend” as an onslaught on the continued smuggling of imported, but smuggled poultry products from the Republic of Benin into Nigeria. 

Other than the ruining of the Nigeria economy, the destruction of the local poultry industry, and the erosion of family livelihoods, Nigerians are worse off by the continued patronage of these unwholesome smuggled poultry products mostly from the Republic of Benin. If this trend is not checked and brought under control, the huge investments in the poultry industry might be rendered unproductive, and economy brought into total collapse. 

We are concerned and worried more as the results of independent research on smuggled poultry products in the Nigerian markets revealed that imported poultry meat (particularly chicken and turkey) are loaded with microbes linking salmonella spp with the imported, but smuggled poultry meat into the Nigerian markets. 

The above pose grave dangers to consumers, the handlers and the environment thereby causing great threat to public health. 

Records available to the Association indicate that 81% of frozen poultry products sold in Lagos, Ibadan, Warri, Abuja, Port harcourt are smuggled. 

There smuggled chickens are principally from the Republic of Benin as statistics readily at our disposal have indicated. For a seven years record of export of poultry products from Europe alone, Benin Republic continues to lead other African countries in import as indicated below: 
 2008 – 82,338 tons 
 2009 – 84,328 tons 
 2010 – 113,614 tons 
 2011 – 123,764 tons 
 2012 – 136,889 tons 
 2013 – 142,478 tons 
 2014 – 162,791 tons 
Source: Eurostat 

The above import by the Republic of Benin from Europe excludes others from Thailand, Brazil and the United States of America. By our estimates, the Republic of Benin import over 1.7 million tons of Poultry products into Benin, a country with a total population of not more than Lagos state. Over 80% of the poultry products import by Benin (frozen chicken and turkey) finds themselves into Nigerian Markets causing loss of over USD 2.5 billion and over 1 million job loss. 

The above scenario is not a pleasant development for our country – Nigeria. Charity must begin from home as we cannot be used as a dumping ground for cheap unwholesome products from the developed poultry economies of the world. 

As poultry producers and one of the critical drivers of the economy, we are pleased with this initiative of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and NAFDAC. 

We implore us to work hand in hand with the Consumers Protection Council (CPC) and the stakeholders in the poultry industry in Nigeria through the Association so that together we can all work together to rid the Nigerian markets of these products. 

Thank you all. 

Webb Fontaine Group. All rights reserved.