Lagos - The Federal Operations Unit (FOU) of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Ikeja, said on Tuesday that it impounded 1 028 illegal imports valued at more than N343 million.
The Public Relations Officer of the unit of the unit, Uche Ejesieme, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the goods were seized from January to March.
Ejesieme, however, said that the volume of seizure was lower than the 474 goods seized which valued at more than N300 million during the corresponding period under review in 2012.
He said that 65 suspects were arrested within the same period under review as against the 87 persons arrested during the same period in 2012.
He attributed the feat achieved to the improved performance of the officers of the service as a result of the management’s motivation.
``You can attribute that to renewed vigour and that was also consequent upon the motivation by the Comptroller-General of customs, Dr Abdulahi Dikko-Inde and his management team, coupled with the leadership qualities of the new Comptroller, Federal Operations Zone ``A`` Ikeja Lagos, Inuwa Abubakar Muhammad.
“We have intensified patrols at the areas he identified as flash points with a view to blocking them.
``Few weeks ago, the Comptroller General had a meeting with all area controllers were he admonished them to step up their activities in areas of revenue generation and suppression smuggling which are the core functions of the customs service.``
Ejesieme said that customs had been holding dialogue with the stakeholders in the agricultural sector to reduce the rate of smuggling of agricultural products in the country.
``At the moment, we are also engaging the critical stakeholders from the Lagos Commerce and Industry particularly the agriculture sector for continuous dialogue on ways to collaborate and synergise with the customs to eradicate this cankerworm.
``I can assure you that this collaboration has been yielding results in view of the spectacular achievements we have recorded so far. We are not relenting.”
He urged the smugglers to shun the smuggling of contrabands into the country, stressing that the service would not give up until smuggling was reduced to the barest minimum.