By Stephen Ubanna
This not the best of times for smugglers operating between the six states of the south west states, of Ogun, Lagos, Oyo, Osun , Ekiti , Ondo and the south east and–south states, particular of Edo, described as the heart eat of the nation.
Yusuf Lawal, the Comptroller, Federal Operations, Zone C, Owerri , Imo state , matching order to the Command officers at Benin city, the Edo state , Capital , out-station to tighten security in the state to ensure that the Asian country of Thailand and the North American country Vietenam, parboiled rice and the Indian country , Agric, rice , and other prohibited Contraband , did not enter the country , through any route in the state, either by land or water, appears to be working out. This is evident going by the large quantity of Contraband goods including Fake drugs and Cosmetics, that had been seized by the Command in different parts of Edo, Cross-river, Akwa-Ibom, Rivers, Imo, particular, between July and August , 2021.
An informed source told The Value News, Benin outstation Government Warehouse, is filled to the brim, with seized Contrabnad. The source disclosed that most of the intercepted and seized items had entered into the country from the neighbouring West African country of Benin. Yusuf, the Command, Area Comptroller, had said the value of the goods seized within the period under review wasover N120 million.
Given a breakdown of the items seized, an elatd FOU, Zone C, Comptroller, disclosed that 130 bags of 50kg, each of foreign parboiled rice valued at N5460000m and 2,181 cartons of foreign cosmetic products without a registration number from the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control ,NAFDAC, valued at N76,335,000 was intercepted along the Okada/ Benin express way.
Given an insider iformation of the seized Cosmetics, based on experts sport, he disclosed that the cosmetic products include 457 cartons of Simple Sensitive Skin Expert; 790 cartons of Facial Wash, 232 cartons of Carotone Cream, 574 cartons of various brands of cosmetics and 128 cartons of Revlon Almay Godess Gloss.
Other Contraband seizures by the Command were 440 cartons of Artesunate injection zensunate without NAFDAC number worth about N8,580,000 that was said to have been intercepted along the Okada – Benin expressway, 449 cartons of fan pop sweets worth N7, 485,000m intercepted along the Lagos – Benin expressway and 161 jumbo bales of used clothing valued at N22,500,000m that were intercepted along the Enugu- Port -Harcourt expressway.
Many believe that without the tight security mounted by the Benin outstation officers in the heart beat state that had forestalled the Lagos based ports Apapa, Tincan Island, and Port –Multi-services, PTML,importers with their agents turned smugglers, the goods would have entered into the south east of Onitsha, for distribution to other dealers in the region.
The VCustoms Comptroller, who could not hide his feelings described the intercepted Cosmetics as hazardous to health, urging Nigerians ‘’to be wary of fake and smuggled products which are injurious to the human body.
He may have sent a signal to the smugglers and their Collaborators, in the south east and south geo-political regions that the era, when they could easily beat the Customs anti-smuggling officers on the road is over. He has his reason. The Command anti-smuggling oficers are fully prepared and equipped to combat all the nefarious activities of smugglers especially with the festive ember months by the corner. He has made it declare to those that cares to listen that whatever tricks that may be employed by the smugglers, to bring their smuggled goods into the region , from any part of the country , would be thwarted .
An Appreciative Comptroller Yusuf, who is Committed to Combatting smuggling activities, in in the south east states of Imo, Abia, Anambra, Enugu, Eboyi and the south –south states, of Edo, Delta, Rivers, Bayelsa, Cross-river and Akw –Ibom, hand thanked the Nigerian Police Force, NPF, and other security agencies personnel in the state for their support to contain the activities of the smugglers in the two regions without any loss of life.
He was also full of Appreciation to Hameed Ibrahim Ali, a retired ,army Colonel and Comptoller General, Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, and his Management Team , for their hollistic support to the Command, promising ‘’to continuously checkmate the activities of smugglers in line with the service Constitutional mandate to reduce smuggling, across the country to its barest minimum.
Appealing to Nigerian importers, using the Lagos ports and any of the south east ports to take delivery of their cargoes to endeavor to confirm the quality of a product before purchasing it for use because in their home country to avoid into trouble with his men on the road, he noted that ‘’so many medicinal and cosmetic products are being smuggled into the country without a NAFDAC number’’, meaning that they were fake.
” The Customs Comptroller, averred that’’ those who use non -NAFDAC certified cosmetic products stand the risk of skin cancer’’ just as those who consume antimalarial drugs without a NAFDAC number are only experimenting with their lives..
He further stated that the importation of foreign rice is against the Federal Government’s agricultural policies and warned that smugglers will never have a rest of mind until they stop sabotaging the nation’s economy. President Muhammadu Buhammadu Buhari. NIGERIA CUSTOMS SERVICE, FEDERAL OPERATIONS UNIT, ZONE “C” SEIZES FAKE DRUGS, COSMETICS, OTHER CONTRABAND WORTH OVER N120M IN JULY AND AUGUST
The Federal Operations Unit, zone ‘C’ (FOUC) of the Nigeria Customs Service has seized fake and contraband products worth over N120 million in July and August 2021.
Comptroller Yusuf Lawal Psc+ who announced this on Monday listed the goods to include 130 bags of 50kg foreign parboiled rice valued at N5,460,000m and 2,181 cartons of foreign cosmetic products without a registration number from the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) valued at N76,335,000 intercepted along the Okada/ Benin express way.
According to him, the cosmetic products include 457 cartons of Simple Sensitive Skin Expert; 790 cartons of Facial Wash, 232 cartons of Carotone Cream, 574 cartons of various brands of cosmetics and 128 cartons of Revlon Almay Godess Gloss.
Other seized items are 440 cartons of Artesunate injection zensunate without NAFDAC number worth N8,580,000 that was intercepted along the Okada – Benin expressway, 449 cartons of fan pop sweets worth N7, 485,000m intercepted along the Lagos – Benin expressway and 161 jumbo bales of used clothing valued at N22,500,000m that were intercepted along the Enugu- Port -Hacourt expressway.
The comptroller who urged Nigerians to be wary of fake and smuggled products said that they are not only hazardous to human health but also to the economy of Nigeria.
He added that his men and officers are fully prepared and equipped to combat all nefarious activities of smugglers especially with the festive ember months by the corner.
He thanked sister agencies as well as the media and the Comptroller-General, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali for their hollistic support to the Service and pledged to continously checkmate the activities of smugglers in line with his constitutional mandate so as to reduce smuggling in the zone to its barest minimum.
” We urge Nigerians to confirm the quality of a product before purchasing it for use because so many medicinal and cosmetic products are being smuggled into the country without a NAFDAC number” Those who use non NAFDAC certified cosmetic products stand the risk of skin cancer just as those who consume antimalarial drugs without a NAFDAC number are only experimenting with their lives. He further said that the importation of foreign rice is against Federal Government’s agricultural policies and warned that smugglers will never have a filled day.
The Customs Comptroller, urged Nigerians to cooperate with the Service as it continues to block all leakages, thwart antics of smugglers and sanitize the country irrespective of whose ox is gored.ired army General , has banned the importation of Foreign rice and vehicles, through the Land borders across the country, on January 1, 2017 and the policy remain unchanged.
The south east based smugglers , operating between Republic Benin, and the south west and south east geo-political regions , knew that the game is up, the moment information filtered out that Kayode Oluseimere, an acting Assistant Comptroller General, of Customs, who gave the smuggles tough time, as a former FOU, zone C, Area Comptroller, has been redeployed to PortHarcourt, as the Customs Zone C, Coordinator,
True to their fear, they have not been finding in it funny since May, 2021 and now, that he had resumed duties at the Customs Zonal office.An insider informed the Magazine that he has a good working relationship with the FOU, Zone Comptroller, and other Comptrolle in the Zone, which had helped in minising the Criminal activities at the ports and border Communities between the south –south state of Edo and Ondo in the south west , as well as the Bordr Communities between Cross-river, Akawa-Ibom and the Central African African country of Cameroon.