Customs: Shuaibu, A Committed And dedicated Officer

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By Stephen Ubanna

Those who think that Ahmadu Shuaibu, A Deputy Comptroller and Coordinator, Comptroller General of Customs , CGC, Strike Force, Team A, Lagos, and his 122, officers,  will slow  down their pace of work,  would be disappointed.

  The ad’hoc interventionist Team which covers the  south west states of  Ogun, Lagos, Oyo ,Osun , Ekiti and Ondo, including the Lagos seaports of Apapa, Tin can Island, Port Multi-services Terminal Limited, PTML, including the Kirikiri  Lighter Terminal, KLT, phases I and II, appeared not to have stepped up their operations  as the officers have continued  to expose the fraudulent  importers with their agents  at the ports and give the smugglers Contraband a battle of their live.

 Even the foreign parboiled rice smugglers and their sponsors, particular, in various markets in the south west states are no longer  finding it funny to carry out their nefarious trade  as the Shuaibu’s men who arescatered all over the region have continued to intercept  smuggled rice  along the inappropriate routes  acting on information.

iKOrodu Lighter Terminal Used By CGC Strike Force Team To Warehouse Seized Containers

From the onset, Shuiabu  and his Management Team, have made it clear that any Containerised cargo found to have contravened the extant Laws of clearing goods at the port would be intercepted and evacuated  to the Ikorodu Lighter Terminal, IKLT, where it would be ’’ detained, examined and action taken on them’’.  He may have sent a message to the importers and the agents at the port that  the  era of penetrating the  Task Force Teams at the port to cover their inadequacies is over  is over as there is no room for Compromise, insisting that any falsely declared Consignment found to have  Contravened the Customs  and Excise Management Act, Cap 20 04, would be ‘’liable to outright seizure’’.  This may have informed why the Team had intercepted some 10 Containers loaded with falsely declared goods at the Lagos  ports and bonded terminals.

Informed sources told The Value News that much of the seized Containers were evacuated from APM, a Container terminal at Apapa port, under Yusuf Malanta, the Apapa Customs Command Comptroller. Note that the AM terminal is one of the biggest Container terminals in the West African sub-region, which according to the Nigerian Ports Authority sources handle over  70% of the  cargoes coming into the country.

 Given an insider information of the items found in the suspected  Containers that were evacuated from the Lagos ports,  to the IKLT, shuaibu, who talked tough said  575 bales of secondhand lothing,  1,440 cartons of Super market goods and 664 cartons of Pharmaceutical drugs without the National  Agency for Food and Drug Administration, NAFDAC, registration number and approval   were seized .

 This is in addition to 540 cartons of foot wears and 1,600 bags of foreign parboiled rice of 50 Kg each.The Team may have been emboldened to go all out against the foreign rice smugglers because President Muhammadu Buhari, a retired Army General, had banned the importation of foreign rice and vehicles through  the land border on January 1st, 2017.

 With the seizures,  the CGC, Strike Force Team A Coordinator,  has sent a message to the  fraudulent  importers  with their agents and the  smugglers there is no hiding place for them as they would always be fished out no that the strategies employed to carry out their nefarious trade.     

CGC Strike Force Team A, Corordinato Showcase SSeized Items At IKLT

The question on the lips of most people was how  the Shuaibu led  Headquarters’  adhoc team, officers were   able to penetrate the Lagos sea ports and bonded terminals  which are manned by hundreds of officers from Apapa and TinCan island  Commands  to make seizures  of the  falsely declared declared goods, wrong  classification, Concealment and evacuate  them to the IKLT. Shuaibu, who could not hide hide his feelings had said  that  the Team could achieve all that  through’ ’credible intelligence and meticulous documentary checks’’.

A senior Customs officer who have had the  opportunity of working with the CGC Strike Force , Team A, Coordinator  at Federal Operations Unit, FOU , Zone C, Owerri,  Imo state,  some two years ago when he was the Command Head of the Operations,  had described him as ‘’a dedicated and Committed officer  who likes challenges and ready to put  in his best even at the risk of life’’. The officer disclosed that he had  forced many big time smugglers in the south-south state of Cross river and Akwa-Ibom state to under ground as most of the fraudulent importers with their agents using the south east ports of Calabar, Delta , Rivers and PortHarcourt II, Onne ports , were forced to turn a leaf to  avoid playing into the hands of his Patrol team officers on the road.

A Sized ”40” Container Loaded With Bales Of Second Hand Clothing By CGC Strike Force Team A

Appealing to the fraudulent importers, agents and their Customs Collaborators  to have a change of mind and ensure they do the right, he averred that it is the only way ‘’to make the country great again  and avoid  youths restiveness and banditry ‘’.   He  gave kudos to the Compliant importers  and their agents, urging  them never to relent in doing so   as ‘’we have no other country other than Nigeria’’. Valuation experts had put the value of goods seized in the month of May, 2021, by the Shuaibu led CGC interventionist Unit at a Duty Paid Value , DPV, of about N340 million.

   For the importers with their agents who had Compromised the officers at the ports  to shortchange the government by making underpayment , they would  never forget what there are going through in the hands of the  Shuaibu’s men at the Information and Communication Technology, ICT, unit.   The ICT officers who were said to have always had the manifest of the imports  in advance   to know what is loaded in their Containers and the  duties paid  were said to have discovered high level of fraud. This is evident going by the recovery of about N426.35 million lost revenue for the government,  Note that this is money that could have entered into private pockets, an ICT officer remarked.  Recall that between January and April, the team had evacuated and detained 39 Containers loaded  with falsely declared goods from the Lagos ports and bonded terminals and recovered billions of naira for the government.

Many believe that that the CGC Strike Fore  Team A, could have recovered  rec much more than N426.35 million, lost for the government in the month of May, both for the proactive step taken by the CGC Strike Force Coordinator, late last  year , to talk to the Deputy Comptrollers  at the APM  and those at the Bonded Terminals outside the premier port to sit up and ensure they do the right  thing by collecting the appropriate revenue for the government on all imported goods.

 This is may have forced Yusuf Malanta, the Apapa Command Comptroller to beam his searchlight on the officers at the terminals at the port and the bonded houses under the control of the Command . He may have taken the bold initiative because of the news making the rounds that most of the importers with their agents who  had penetrated the ranks of NPA, and the Customs Authorities now decide  where to step down their Containers to take delivery of it. This  may have informed why the Apapa Command  monthly  have continue d to be on the rise in the recent time as it had continued to make Tramadol seizures.    

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