The Customs Area Controller of the Cross River State, Calabar Free Zone and Akwa Ibom State Area Command, Comptroller Patience Nanbyen Burromvyat, on Thursday said they had generated N7.8 billion since between January and October this year.
Addressing reporters at the Command Headquarters in Calabar, Burromvyat said the figure represents a 58 per cent increase compared to what was recorded for the corresponding period last year.
Her words, “Despite the various challenges faced by the Command, the total sum of N7, 845, 214, 264. 65 was generated between January and October, 2017 out of the N8, 750, 385, 298.38 revenue target of the Command.
“This represents a 58 per cent increase compared to what was recorded for the corresponding period last year and 89 per cent of the 2017 revenue target. I am hopeful of not only meeting the target but surpassing it.”
She said their successes have also been due to cooperation with other security agencies.
“I must commend the officers and men of the Federal Operations Unit, Compliance Team, CIU and other sister security agencies for assisting and complementing our efforts in some of these seizures. Mention must also be made of the untiring cooperation and assistance received during difficult operations from the Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Army, Nigerian Police and Directorate of State Services,” she said.
The Comptroller also said in a bid to stem the tide of smuggling in all its ramifications, a lot of seizures were made during the period under review.
“A total of 28 seizures were made which includes items like used tyres, used vehicles, live animals and a total of 1, 521 (50kg) bags of smuggled foreign parboiled rice. The Duty Paid Value of the above mentioned items is put at N34,945, 516. 11. In as much as smugglers will continue to operate, we shall continue to apprehend them, so that it will serve as a deterrent,”
Burromvyat said though no life was lost, some of their officers suffered various degrees of injuries in the course of discharging their legitimate duties.
She said the ban on the importation would be sustained, while they are stepping up efforts to check arms smuggling.
“Let me reiterate for emphasis that as an institution that is saddled with the enforcement of governments’ policies, the compliance level on the ban on importation of rice would be sustained.
I also want to reemphasize that in line with Headquarters directives to beef up security along the jetties and borders considering the security threats of illegal importation of arms through the nation’s sea ports, the Command in conjunction with other security agencies and units are deploying high level intelligence to fortify the entire area in order to foil any attempts at arms smuggling and other trans-border crimes.
“On the issue of Tinapa, let me use this opportunity to inform the general public to patronize Tinapa as purchases of up to N50, 000 are allowed. Any purchase above this would require opening Form M and payment of appropriate duties. The rice issue should not scare away stakeholders and the trading public,” she said.
She expressed gratitude to the Comptroller General of Customs Col Hameed Ibrahim Alli and his team for their support, as well as gallantry of the officers and men of the Command despite all odds.