Customs: Hard Time Await Cross-Border Smugglers In Niger/Kogi States As Comptroller Adamu Assumes Duty

By Stephen Ubanna

Smugglers operating with and around the Banana Border   axis and other porous border areas   of Niger/Kogi  states and the West Afrcan country  of Benin Republic who are used to smuggling used Tyres,  live catridges , used vehicles and foregn rice  shipped into the country through  its Autonomous port Benin, Cotonou and Bolore  port , are in trouble.

 A resident of Minna, the Niger state Capital told The Value News  that ever since  Timi Bomadi, a Deputy Comptroller and the Customs spokesperson ,released the   names of the 37  Comptrollers deployed to their various duty posts with Comtroller Mohammed Abubakar   Adamu’s name falling on the Niger/Kogi Command , than  smugglers began to panic

Compt. Adamu: Niger/Kogi Command

This is because of the Customs Comptroller’s anticident at the Federal Operations Unit , FOU, Zone, A, where he had Headed the Command’s Lagos Roving unit, which Patrol Teams , gave the fraudulent importers with their agents  AT the Lagos ports of Apapa, Tin can island, Port Multi-services Terminal Limited, PTML, Kirikiri Lighter Terminal, phases I&II,  and the smugglers operating  in the south west  states of Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Ekiti, Ondo, a run for their money that  many of them  were forced  to go underground.

 He was  said to have repeated  the same feat  as the Coordinator, of the Headquarters Strike Force Team C,, Port Harcourt  Zone, overseeing the south east states of  of Abia, Anambra, Eboyi, Enugu and the south south states of Akwa Ibom, Cross River state, which share boundary with  the Central African country of Cameroon  which have the Doula port, where most of the Contraband goods, particular, foreign par boiled rice, vegetable Oil, second Hand Clothing are being  smuggled into the country through the Bakassi axis,  Bayelsa,  Delta, Edo, Enugu and Rivers.

  Not that within the short period he had served as the Coordinator of the Headquaters Strike Force, Team C, he was said to have made spectacular Contraband seizures. Prior to his appointment as the Coordinator, Headquarters Strike Force, Team C, Port Harcourt,  he had served as the Deputy Comptroller in charge of the Enforcement , unit,  of the Customs Amphibious Command, Western Marine Command, where he was said to have given the water ways smugglers using the Creeks and Beaches, in in Lagos, Ogun, and  Oyo  states  tough time  as he had  continued to dispossess them of their smuggled foreign rice  and  Vegetable Oil including Premium Motor Spirit PMS,, popular, Petrol.

 A senior Customs officer who spoke to The Value New on conditions of anonymity disclosed  that throughout his stay at the Command, the Government  Warehouse  was always filled to the rim with seized foreign rice and other Contraband . The Command water front was said to have also had a good number of  boats   used for their smuggling activities that was berthed there.

 His deployment to Tincan Can Island to oversee the Command  main exit gate  may have Brought out the best in him given his experience  as an anti-smuggling officer  as many fraudulent importers with their agents agents were forced  to turn a new leaf  by making correct declarations, and avoid wrong Classification of their imports, underpayment and Concealment for fear of  losing their Consignment to government because ofAdamu’s no Compromise policy.

 Many believe that  what he did at the Tin Can Island main exit gate gate for much of last year as Deputy Comptroller, until his promotion as Comptroller, was not different from what Mahmood Ibrahim, a Deputy Comptroller , is currently doing at the Onne port exit gate, where  some supected Containers loaded with goods which had had contravened the government Fiscal policy had been stooped  and transferred to the the Enforcement unit for proper Examination and subsequent transfer to the government waerhouse.

Informed sources told The Magazine that billions of naira have continued to be recovered for the government through the issuance of Demand Notice, DN, to the guilty importers through their agents at the instance of Awwal Mohammed , the Area Comptroller, who is determined to block all areas of revenue leakage at the port.

 Comptroller Adamu’s resolve to deal with the north central states of Niger and Kogi smugglers may have been strengthened  as  President Muhammadu Buhari , a retired Army General , policy, banning the importation of  Foreign rice   and second hand vehicles and other Contraband through the land border is still in force, meaning that the smugglers have no hiding place.

Niger/Kogi Command, Unit Heads, Pose With Comptroller Admau In His Office

 The speed at which the various Heads of unit of  the  Command  ad some Patrol Team, leaders  crowded  him after the brief handover ceremony which saw Comptroller Dappa Williams , leaving the office for hhim, to resume in  Eastern Marine, his new  Command, in  Rivers state, on Monday, February 14, 2022, speaks volume. Comptroller Dappa, may have taken advantage of the change of baton in ”to thank the officers   and men of the Command for their support in the successes achieved in the anti-smuggling war” which had led to spectacular seizures including a live Cateridge.

The former Area Comptroller had urged the officers ‘’ to extend the same level of Corporation’’ to his successor, Comptroller Adamu,  to fufill his mandate. Comptroller Adamu has every reason to demonstrate that  he is still a firebrand in the anti-smuggling war    by  cashing in on the Comptroller General’s advice, that  no Contraband  enters or leaves the country to block all the porous routes in the the states used by the smugglers and their Collaborators. The Customs boss is desirous of  meeting its 4.1 trillion  revenue target for the year 2022 and therefore, would not want the smugglers operating in different parts of the country to sabotage his efforts. This may have informed why he had advised the Customs Comptrollers to the anti-smuggling serious.

Comptrol Adamu, who could not hide his feelings had said that Niger/Kogi Command, is a ‘’place to work’’ as a Comptroller because of the enormous challenges in Niger, Ibrahim Babangida, retired Amy General, and former military President, particular, which is still under Bandits Group siege. Given the good work of his predecessor, described as ”laudable”, not withstanding the activities of the gunmen in the state, he has promised ‘’to Consolidate on his achievements”.

The Customs Comptroller, however, may have sent   jitters  down the spine of the patrol Team  Leaders and their members, when he declared  that ‘’discipline  will be his  main concern ‘’, stressing that ‘’anti-smuggling  activities  shall be pursued vigorously’’.

  The message was very clear to the ant-smuggling officers that any one who   aid and abet the economic saboteurs,  will be dealt with. Vintage Adamu.

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