By Stephen Ubanna
For years, there have been rumour making the rounds that the Nigerian Customs Service, NCS, anti-smuggling war have failed in the north , particular north western states of Kano, Jigawa, Sokoto, Kebbi, Zamfara, Kaduna nd Katsina, President Muhammadu Buhari, home state.
At present in these states, foreign
The Value News findings shows that while past and present Comptrollers of the Federal Operations Unit, FOU, Zone A, Ikeja and Zone C, Owerri, overseeing the anti-smuggling operations in the south west , east and south-south geo-political regions have succeeded in putting many of the exotic vehiclle and foreign parboiled rice smugglers out of circulation, the situation is not so in the northwest geo-political region which share border with Niger Republic.
Note that as a one of the land locked countries its transit cargoes delivered to the country mostly from the Cotonou port, Republic of Benin. A driver plying the Lagos _Cotonou International route , confirmed that over 100 trucks from the northern part of the country enter Cotonou , every week , to load rice which were usually smuggled into the Nigerian market from the north west , north east and the north Central states of Kwarra and Benue .
It was learnt vehicles imported through the Cotonou port into the land locked country were mostly smuuled into the nigeria market through these northern states with the active connivance of the officers who see it as an opportunity to make quick money. Insiders told The Value News that an ability to speak Housa is an asset to any officer that wants to be in the good book of the smugglers. It is not surprising why the Comptrollers who could not understand , Housa/Fulani, the dominant language in the north are in the dark to know what the anti-smuggling officers are doing when they are go out on operation. The situation is worse in Soko/Kebbi/ Zamfara and Kaduna/Katsina Commands. The FOU, Zone B and CC, Strike Force, in the Kaduna and Bauchi Zonal Commands have not helped matters as they have faailed to compliment the efforts of the resident officers.
Hameed Ali, a retired Army Colonel and Comptroller General, NCS, may have kept it to himself the rot in the north
The meeting became necessary because of the recent signing of a trade pact between President Muhammadu Buhari, and Patrick Talon, of Benin Republic in order to avoid unfair trade. Even though the pact has not yet come into existence, the Customs Comptroller
Recall that the Katsina born Nigerian President had banned the importation of vehicles and foreign rice into the country on January
Ali , the Customs Comptroller General , on the orders of the President, was said to have given the anti-smuggling Commands and their Comptrollers the nod to implement the policy to the later to protect the local economy and increase patronage of the country seaports by automobile importers , who were aid to have relocated to Cotonou ports and other ports in the West African sub-region to take delivery of their vehicles. He had expected the FOUs, CGC Strike Force and the Border Command, to intensify their anti-smuggling war and ensure no prohibited item or phamarceutical products found their way into the Nigerian market.
The Customs boss may not have made any negative remarks on the anti-smuggling operations in the
The CGC may have
Take for instance FOU, Zone A, despite the normal seizures of foreign parboiled and vehicles, found in the Government Warehouse at Ikeja, like every other Command of the Service it, has added donkey skin, and
The most recent seizure by the team was about 820 sacks of donkey skin in warehouses located within Oyo and Ogun axis in the south west geo-political region meant for export the Asian country of China for the use of Pharmaceutical Companies which manufacture of drugs used for curing of High Blood Pressures, HBP, and terminal sicknesses. The Value of the donkey skin Consignment , according valuation experts was put about N1.9 billion.
Note last May , the Riks led team was said to have made over 1000 pieces of donkey skin loaded in two ”20” Containers in one operation at the Okota axis of Lagos state worth over N1.5 billion.
This is in addition to the seizure of several cartons of banned pharmaceutical drugs such as tramadol and Codein. The raid by the team of a warehouse suspected to be stocking piling cartons of Codeine drugs at the Alaba International Market was said to have yielded results as 347 cartons of Codein worth about N146 million were evacuated to the Command premises by them.
The team may have put the Mohammed led Command on a class of its own with seizures of about 15 bullet proofs smuggled into the country from republic of Benin and parked in private residences and different locations in Lagos. The latest of such bullet proof seizures was the 2019 model valued at about 49 million.
For Mohammed, the Comptroller of Seme Command, he has successfully made Seme, Owode
He was said to have
The recent seizure of 627 dozens of table water from China discovered in a four transit trucks laden with cargo at Seme-Krake Joint Border, worth about N3.043 million may proved to the Comptroller General that the anti-smuggling war at is real and not a fluke as detractors had wanted him to believe in order to turn against the Seme Customs Comptroller.
It was not surprising while all attempts by detractors to blackmail the Customs Comptroller by using fictitious pictures of
Agbara, the Comptroller of Ogun, who may have woken up from
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