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Mu’azu Shehu

Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has seized over 154 assorted items valued at N118.9 million in their focus on the suppression of smuggling activities in 2021 in Kebbi State.

The Customs Area Controller in the state, Comptroller, Hafiz Kalla, made this known in a press briefing on end of the year report in Binrin Kebbi on Wednesday.

He said,” Our activities last year mainly focused on suppression of smuggling which culminated in 154 seizures of assorted items valued at N118.9 million.

“The seized items include, but not limited to 1,583 bags Of 50kg and 10 bags of 25kg of foreign parboiled rice.

“Others are, 299 packages of 1kg of Indian Hemp and 253 bales of second hand clothing as well as 1,603 pieces of new textile materials.

“There was also one tanker loaded with 50,000 Litres of PMS ,five units of vehicles and111 pieces of used tyres.”

Kalla added that over N13,1 million was equally generated as revenue from the auction sales of 128,750 of PMS/AGO and other perishable items seized by the command in accordance with extant laws guiding their operations.

According to him, the amount has since been remitted to the Federal Government coffers.

He explained that the achievement was made possible by the doggedness of their gallant officers and men as well as the help and support of other units in the Service and relevant security agencies through mutual collaboration and intelligence sharing.

Kalla also pointed out that the strategies put in place to bring down rate of smuggling activities to the barest minimum in Kebbi State had started yielding positive results.

“A cursory look at our seizure records for the year ended when juxtaposed with the year 2020 shows a sharp decline in the frequency of smuggling and the items smuggled.

“For instance, while the Command made a total number of 234 seizures in the year 2020, the frequency of smuggling recorded in 2021 was 154, which suggests a 35 per cent decline in the rate of smuggling.

“Similarly, the quantity of recorded foreign parboiled rice smuggled into the State compared with the year 2020 had plummeted by 20 per cent in 2021 suggesting that our eagled eyed officers are winning the war on rice smugglers in the state.

“The successes we recorded in the year under review could not have been realised without the necessary support from the Customs Management under the leadership of our Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed- Ibrahim Ali (rtd),” he said.

Kalla commended Ali for enforcing the command with seven brand new operational vehicles to boost their anti-smuggling capacity.

“And there is no doubt; these brand new operational vehicles have boosted our morale.

“Just within the first week of this year, our gallant officers were able to make spectacular seizures of 389kg of Cannabis along Kamba road and were able to scuttle the activities of PMS smugglers on our waterways in Yauri thereby evacuating 150 drums of the product, equivalent to 30,000 litres,” he said.

According to him, the two seizures are worth N21.1 million.

The comptroller also called on the general public and relevant stakeholders to continue to collaborate with the service by supplying useful information in order to protect the country from importation of goods injurious to health and the nation’s economy.

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