CUSTOMS DISMISSES 17 OFFICERS FOR DRUG ADDICTION, CERTIFICATE FORGERY

Seventeen (17) Junior Officers of the Nigeria Customs Service have been dismissed from the Service for offences ranging from drug addiction, certificate forgery, theft and absence from duty from January to September 2016. 

2. The appointment of two other Officers have been terminated for absence from duty while one Officer was retired for drug addiction. 

3. Investigations into offence committed by the Officers in the senior category are now being concluded. Officers found guilty are expected to face similar stiff penalties. 

4. These disciplinary measures were taken after series of investigations and deliberations by the disciplinary committee and recommendations were made to the Management. 

5. This process is a continuation of the reform agenda the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd) promised upon his assumption of office which emphasized discipline, good conduct and transparency. 

Signed 
Wale Adeniyi 
Public Relations Officer 
For: Comptroller-General of Customs

FOU ZONE “C”, OWERRI IMPOUNDS CONTRABAND GOODS WORTH OVER ₦1 BILLION

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone C, Owerri has recorded a total of two hundred and thirty-one (231) seizures of contraband goods with an overall Duty Paid Value (DPV) of one billion, nine hundred and fifty-seven million, five hundred and twenty nine thousand, three hundred and seventy-five naira (₦1,957,529,375.00) in the third quarter of the year 2016. 

This is in contrast to the three hundred and seventy-nine (379) seizures with a DPV of two billion, two hundred and twenty-four million, two hundred and forty-five thousand, seven hundred and ninety-seven Naira (₦2,224,245,797.00) impounded in the year 2015. 

The Customs Area Controller of the Unit, Comptroller Haruna Mamudu, while briefing newsmen on the performance of officers and men of the unit in the third quarter of the year, said that the underpayment of five hundred and forty-eight million, seven hundred thousand, nine hundred and ninety-seven naira (₦548,700,997.00) recovered this year (2016) amounted to an increase in the percentage of revenue generated by the NCS in contrast to that of one hundred and five million, two hundred and seven thousand, eight hundred and seven naira (₦5,207,807.00) underpayment recovered in the year 2015. 

According to Comptroller Haruna, twenty-two (22) suspects were arrested in connection with the seizures which were impounded on the Benin axis, Asaba-Agbor-Onitsha express way, Calabar, Enugu, Owerri and Port-Harcourt axis of the South-south and South -East zones of the federation, while sixteen (16) cases are pending in court. He stressed that the feat was successfully accomplished as a result of the renewed determination of the Comptroller-General of Customs Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd.) to rid the country of all forms of illegal importation. 

The Customs Area Controller enumerated the items impounded to include 121 vehicles; 3,082 bags of 50 kg rice; 1,454 cartons /set of furniture; 5,120 pieces of used foreign tyres; 625 cartons of fake medicaments and 2,600 pieces of imported school bags. 

Also seized were 63 containers of log of wood; 97 pieces of 14 -stroke engine generator; 30,181 cartons imported frozen poultry products; 1,148 bales of second hand clothing as well as 2, 331 cartons of foreign detergents and creams. 

The rest of the items were 1,339 pairs of foot wears; 142 pieces of used refrigerators and compressors, 155 cartons of plastic and articles of plastics; 129 cartons of ceramics and articles of ceramics in addition to 803 bags of scrap metals. 

Comptroller Haruna, who expressed concern at the continued indulgence of some Nigerians in the nefarious act of smuggling despite official stiff penalty for culprits arrested said that the NCS would remain resolute and undeterred in its efforts to stamp out the scourge in the country, stressing that the NCS is always well equipped, mobilized and motivated to dislodge smugglers, their collaborators and agents where ever they hibernate. 

The Controller, therefore warned all die hard smugglers who are still trapped in the illegal business to purge themselves of this before the long arm of the law catches up with them. 

He also renewed appeal to members of the public with useful information about smugglers to always make such information available to his men or to other sister security agencies for necessary action, assuring that the identity of such informers will never be disclosed. 

SIGNED: 
ONUIGBO, IFEOMA 
THE PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER, 
FEDERAL OPERATIONS UNIT ZONE C, OWERRI

RICE IMPORTS REMAIN BANNED THROUGH THE LAND BORDERS

Our attention has been drawn to publications on various online platforms indicating that the Nigeria Customs Service has reversed the ban on Rice importation through the land borders. These reports were attributed to a press interview purportedly granted by the Service Public Relations Officer, Deputy-Comptroller Wale Adeniyi. 

2. It has become necessary to re-state the true position in view of the confusion which these online publications may create in the industry. It is even more expedient to provide this clarification given that the fact that the Service has taken a firm position earlier in the week through a joint press conference with Stakeholders. 

3. First, we like to reiterate the position that importation of Rice remains banned through our Land Borders, and we have the commitment of Partner Government Agencies and Stakeholders to enforce this restriction. While this restriction is in force, Rice imports through the Ports are still allowed subject to payment of extant charges. 

4. It is equally important to restate the confidence of the Nigeria Customs Service in the ability of Nigerian Rice Producers to fill the existing sufficiency gaps in the supply of the product. The Service has noted with satisfaction the ongoing Rice Revolution undertaken by many State Governments, and Strategic Interventions by Federal Government Agencies. The Service is convinced that the bumper harvests expected from these efforts will address the supply gap in 2017. It is our belief that continuous waste of scarce forex on a commodity that can be produced locally makes no economic sense, most especially at a period of recession. The Service will therefore advocate a total Ban on Rice Importation into Nigeria with effect from 2017. 

5. It is worrisome that the publications that resurfaced this weekend were being attributed to a Press interview granted in October 2015. We strongly suspect that some powerful forces behind Rice Smuggling are at work, recycling an old report under a different circumstance to create confusion. We urge Nigerians to watch out for similar antics as the firm stand on Rice smuggling will pitch their selfish interest against our national interest. 

Signed 
Wale Adeniyi 
Public Relations Officer 
For: Comptroller-General of Customs 

TINCAN ISLAND PORT GENERATES ₦25.6 BILLION IN SEPTEMBER 2016

The various strategic plans aimed at enhancing the Revenue collecting capacity of the Tincan Island Port continues to show positive signals with the collection of 25.6 Billion as revenue in the month of September 2016. These measures include but not limited to strengthening and rejuvenating the competence of the critical areas particularly with regards to identifying and blocking all areas of Revenue leakages, capacity building, in areas of modern Customs Operations as well as extracting the commitment of officers/men in the discharge of their statutory responsibilities. 

The Controller stressed that the Tincan Island Port as a benchmark Command is determined to making the Port a hub, with the entrenchment of due diligence/process in all areas of its operations. 

He stated further that the place of Customs in National development cannot be overemphasized, and pointed out that his Command will not renege on it’s entrenched function of revenue collection/generation irrespective of the present global economic challenge being faced by nations all over the world. 

The Controller is optimistic that the latest innovation of involving stakeholders in the training programme will restore sanity in the system and as well as change the orientation of those who believe in circumventing the process. He called for stronger relations between the Command and Stakeholders for the actualization of expected results. 

“Beyond the fact that we have regular meetings with the critical stakeholders, I have always given the terminal/sectional heads a marching order to ensure that all importers/and their agents are compelled to comply with the extant laws on international trade. 

He commanded those he tagged as compliant importers/agents for their deep sense of patriotism which he noted has helped the command in achieving its Revenue targets. 

The controller further assured that compliant importers/and/or their agents will continue to receive the support of the command and will do everything possible to ensure that they enjoy the full benefit of compliance.” 

“We will always make them feel obligated to follow due diligence/process in their transactions.”

 

UCHE EJESIEME 
Public Relations Officer 
For: Customs Area Controller 
Tincan Island Port. 

SEME GENERATES OVER 1BILLION AS REVENUE FOR THE MONTH OF SEPTEMBER, INTERCEPTED THREE (3) BULLET PROOF VEHICLES

The Nigeria Customs Service, Seme Command has generated ₦1, 129, 115, 213.23 (One Billion One Hundred and Twenty Nine Million, One Hundred and Fifteen Thousand Two Hundred and Thirteen Naira Twenty Three Kobo), as revenue for the month of September 2016. The Command also made a total of 76 Seizures with Duty Paid Value (DPV) of ₦67, 729,225.18 for the period under review. The upsurge in the revenue figure for the period under review is said to be unprecedented in recent times. 

Though the previous months were characterized by a lot of challenges that militated against the smooth collection of revenue in the Command, it is heartwarming to note that efforts put in place to address the challenges yielded the expected result far above the preceding months. The amount generated surpassed the sum of ₦883, 791,678.88 that was collected within the same period under review in 2015 with over ₦245, 323, 534, 35. 

Commenting on the revenue figure generated, the Custom Area Controller, Victor Dimka disclosed that the previous challenge of revenue in the Command has been overcome. He pointed out that there will be a boost in revenue if the Memorandum of Understanding signed with our counterpart (Republic of Benin) translates into handing over of all transit vehicles to Seme Command. He re-stated that with the compliance in the general unification of values across border Commands, the implementation of the complete 17 digits declaration of VIN and the strict adherence to clearance procedure of general goods, he was hopeful that this feat will be recorded and sustained once the principle of compliance, transparency and integrity while discharging the core mandates of the Service is strictly adhered to. 

The Compt. Dimka pointed out that this impressive performance will go down memory lane to justify our commitment and determination to succeed at all course. He said the Command remain undaunted and cannot be deterred in performing her statutory responsibility no matter the challenge. 

In the same vein, the anti-smuggling unit of the Command has also intercepted and arrested three (3) bullet proof vehicles smuggled into the country at different entry locations. 

The three arrested bullet proof vehicles with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of ₦58,797,969.00 have the following particulars:
A black Jeep Escalade with Lagos Registration number GGE 225 BM. 
A black Toyota Land Cruiser (VKR) with Lagos Registration number LSR 906 AG 
A black Mercedes Benz Bus with a foreign number. 

Inspecting the seized bullet proof vehicles, the Customs Area Controller disclosed that the security of the nation remain a top priority to the border Commands of the Nigeria Customs Service. 

The Command’s helmsman re-iterated that apart from generating revenue, suppression of smuggling and facilitation of legitimate trade, the Nigeria Customs Service has a complementary role of protecting the territorial integrity of this nation. 

The Controller added that the challenge of security is vital to the survival of the nation’s socio-economic and political system; hence the need to ensure that bullet proof vehicles undergo security procedure for approval from the office of the National Security Adviser before importation. 

He highlighted that the Command’s seizures in recent times attest to the alertness and the security consciousness of the anti-smuggling unit. He further stated that the Command located at the corridor of the West Africa sub-region will not relent in her effort in combating smuggling and other cross border vices. 

Conversely, he noted that when smuggling is drastically reduced through aggressive anti-smuggling operations as in the case of Seme Command, legitimate trade across the frontier is facilitated and higher revenue generated. 
The Customs Area Controller stressed that the uncompromised stand of the Command to work relentlessly in line with the global best practices (border management) and the policy thrust of the Comptroller General of Customs cannot be over-emphasized. 

He charged his officers not to rest on their oars in having a healthy and symbiotic relationship with the stakeholders in the implementation process of the Federal Government fiscal policies. The Seme Command’s helmsman observed that a healthy relationship devoid of infractions in clearing procedure will give the Command the desired result, increase revenue generation and suppression of smuggling. 

Signed 
Taupyen Selchang 
Customs PRO 
Seme Area Command

FOU “A” SEIZED GOODS WORTH OVER ₦130 MILLION IN ONE MONTH

The Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Operations Unit, Zone “A” Ikeja Lagos in its fight against smuggling has yielded another positive result in the Month of September 2016 by intercepting various prohibited items with a duty paid value (DPV) of ₦101,546,650.00. 

Similarly, the Unit through its interventions recovered ₦30,154,174.75 from vehicles and other goods that tried to beat the system from the seaports and border stations in the guise of false declaration, undervaluation and shortchange in duty payment that are meant for the Federal Government of Nigeria, making a cumulative of ₦131,7008,24.75 in the Month of September 2016. 

In the month of September 2016 alone, about 98 different seizures were recorded comprising vegetable oil, foreign parboiled rice, frozen poultry products, fairly used vehicles popularly known as tokunbo, and various general merchandise. 

The breakdowns are as follows: 
S/N GENERAL GOODS QUANTITY DPV 
1 Foreign Parboiled Rice 2,513 (50kg) ₦16,334,500.00 
2 Frozen Poultry Products 3,778 Cartons ₦20,401,200.00 
3 Vegetable Oil 528 Jerricans ₦4,711,500.00 
4 Assorted vehicles 7 Units ₦14,310,000.00 
5 General merchandise including new and used textiles material, shoes, bags, used tyres , Mosquito insecticide, soaps, compressors, Bonita Spaghetti amongst others ₦45,789,450.00 
Sub-Total ₦101,546,650 
1 Revenue intervention ₦30,154,174.75 
Total ₦131,7008,24.75 

While commending the displayed sheer courage, patriotism and intelligence in a well coordinated action by the Operatives of FOU “A”that eventually led to these remarkable seizures and intervention in the month of September 2016, the Controller, Federal Operations Unit, Zone “A” Ikeja, Comptroller Umar Mohammed Dahiru Said that the Unit has what it takes in delivering one of the Service statutory functions of suppression of smuggling within his areas of jurisdiction in the South West zones.In order to keep this feat, the Controller has further tasked all field operatives of Federal Operations Unit to intensify their border patrols in order to bring smugglers to book. 

He warned those dare devil smugglers who see “ember” months as a peak period for their nefarious acts to desist from such illegal business as the Unit has deployed other tactical strategies that will make them run for their monies and count their loses. He added that 14 suspects were also apprehended and will be charged to court for prosecution after thorough investigation. 

Jerry Attah 
Public Relations Officer 
For: Controller, FOU “A” 

PUBLIC NOTICE

The attention of the Nigeria Customs Service has been drawn to a mischievous advice being circulated on social media to travelers into Nigeria not to give their correct address for security reasons .For the avoidance of doubt NCS is not aware of any attack on a traveler into the country as a result of misuse of information declared to Customs officers on arrival. 

While urging receivers of this mischievous WhatsApp message to discountenance it, the Service wishes to say that being security conscious should not amount to breaking the Law but includes not divulging important information to all manner of people in the foreign land before departure. 

Generally, people should be careful with personal details especially when with people who have no need to know. NCS interest is on cargo not the person. Information is given on need to know bases, and certainly not from every passenger. 

It’s only from passengers in possession of physical cash above the threshold of ten thousand dollars. This is the position of the law. 

The author of this message is certainly not conversant with Customs procedures and should be discountenanced. 

 

Signed 
Joseph Attah 
Deputy Public Relations Officer

NCS COLLECTED OVER ₦95B IN AUGUST 2016.

Col. Hammed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd) on assumption of office as the Comptroller-General of Customs August last year arrived with a three prone Presidential mandate, namely: Reform, Restructure and Raise revenue. 

To achieve these, he drew his policy thrust, which harped, on Honesty, Integrity and Transparency as bases for achieving the mandate. Starting from the Headquarters and then to all Customs formations across the Country. 

Knowing that reform and restructuring are activities within the Nigeria Customs Service, while raising the much needed revenue requires cooperation and Compliance from the part of Stakeholders, the CGC embarked on Stakeholders visitations to secure their buy into the new way of doing business with the Service. 
After one year at the helm of affairs, the Nigeria Customs Service, revenue generation profile has continued to be on the rise.

Last month, August 2016, the Service recorded the highest revenue in 10 years despite the Forex difficulty, low imports and general economic downturn. The Service generated ₦95,760,763,642.04, a feat that points to the efficacy of the Comptroller-General’s policy thrust. 

The strong stance of the CGC on issues of Discipline, Integrity and Strict adherence to Customs Codes and Clearance procedures is yielding positive results in the areas of suppression of smuggling and revenue collection. 

PR Unit 
Customs HQ 
ABUJA 

FOU “A” IKEJA LAGOS PROSECUTES MD OF ELGUSTO CLASSIC INTERNATIONAL FOR CONTRAVENING CUSTOMS LAW

NIGERIA CUSTOMS SERVICE, FEDERAL OPERATIONS UNIT ZONE A IKEJA LAGOS PROSECUTES MD OF ELGUSTO CLASSIC INTERNATIONAL FOR CONTRAVENING CUSTOMS LAW 

The Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Operations Unit has charged Mr Roland Uche Ogbonna, Managing Director of Elgusto Classic  International before Hon. Justice Abdulazeez Anka of Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos on Friday 12 August 2016, on three counts charge; illegal importation of furniture, breaking of customs seal and evasion of duty payment. 

Based on information, the suspect and his company were alleged to have imported 511 sets of various furniture from China in July 2016, contrary to provision of section 47 (i) and (ii) of the Customs andExcise Management Act, Cap C45 Laws of  the Federation of Nigeria, 2004. 

After preliminary investigation, inspection and discovery at the warehouse in Lekki, Officers and Men of the Service swung into action by sealing up the warehouse pending thorough investigation. The owner of the warehouse alongside two of his staff were arrested, detained and released after their statements were taken and all bail conditions were met. 

On the 1st of August 2016, information got to the Unit that the  Managing Director with his staff had broken the seal of the Nigeria  Customs Service placed upon Elgusto Classic International warehouse located at km 43, Lekki-Epe Expressway, Lekki, without authority, with the intent to evade prohibition, thereby committed an offence contrary to the provision of section 145 (5) of CEMA LFN 2004, which they were charged for. 

After breaking the seal, they removed some sets of the furniture imported from China valued at ₦100,000,000.00 (One Hundred Million Naira only), which they were arraigned, for the intent of evading payment of Customs duty, an offence contrary to the provision of section 164 (a) of CEMA Cap C45 LFN 2004. 

While Mr Roland Uche Ogbonna, Managing Director, Elgusto Classic International was remanded in Ikoyi Prison awaiting trial as the case was adjourned to October 19 2016, the Warehouse was resealed. Ajakaye, Julius Iyiola, who led the legal team of the Nigeria Customs Service prayed that the court expedite the legal proceedings to serve as deterrent to others. 

The Controller, Federal Operations Unit Zone A, Comptroller Umar  Mohammed Dahiru expressed determination to sustain the present tempo of zero tolerance for smuggling under his watch and praised the commitment and diligence of his officers/men for thwarting the antics of smugglers. While assuring legitimate traders of Nigeria Customs Service support, he warned smugglers to desist from such illicit trade, as it is no longer profitable. 

For the avoidance of doubt, Genuine Importers and Owners of warehouses are hereby advised not to exercise any fear as NCS action is only about enforcing payments that are legitimately due to the Federal Government of Nigeria and to ensure that smuggling is brought to its bearest minimum. 

Jerry Attah 
Public Relations Officer 
For: Controller, FOU ‘A’

PUBLIC NOTICE: STAKEHOLDERS ENGAGEMENT ON CEMA REVIEW

This is to inform the general public that the rescheduled stakeholders engagement to consider inputs for new draft Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) will hold as follows: 

1. Stakeholders in Lagos and South West 
Date: 18th August 2016 
Venue: Customs Training College, Ikeja, Lagos 

2. Stakeholders in the North 
Date: 25th August 2016 
Venue: Customs Training College, Goron, Dutse, Kano 

3. Stakeholders in the East/ South South 
Date: 1st September 2016 
Venue: Nigeria Customs Service Zonal Office 
Nigeria Ports Authority 
Port Harcourt 

Seminars in all venue will start by 10:00 am. Inputs and presentations for the seminar should be sent by e-mail to cgc@customs.gov.ng or pro@customs.gov.ng.

Signed 
Sanusi Umar mni 
For: Comptroller-General of Customs 

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