The Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) Command in Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara says it has generated N829.5 million between May and October.
The command’s Comptroller, Mr Nasiru Ahmad, who said this at a news conference in Sokoto on Wednesday, added that it also seized 39 vehicles worth N83.6 million paid duty value.
Ahmad, who assumed duty in April, said “the command made 103 seizures with combined duty paid value of N161.3 million, including the 39 vehicles intercepted.
He said that 23 arrests were made in October alone.
The other seizures, he said, were 552 bags of 50kg rice, 129 bags of 25Kg rice, 976 Jerry cans of cooking oil, 209 bales of second hand clothes in addition to two pieces of elephant tusk valued at N14.4 million.
Ahmad said N829.6 million was realised within the period against N1.1 billion received last year with 22.9 per cent deficit.
He attributed the deficit to government ban on importation of rice and vehicle through land borders.
He added that the command collected export duties from Dangote and Sokoto Cement that were transporting the commodity to neighbouring countries.
The comptroller said the command had 11 approved borders with about 600 kilometres stretching from Sabon-Birni in Sokoto State to Maje and Lolo in Kebbi which allowed smugglers to use porous areas, especially during dry season.
He expressed the command’s commitment to ensure continued success in anti-smuggling activities, revenue generation and trade facilitation.
He cautioned smugglers and the people against engaging in any form of smuggling.
He said smuggling of food items and textile materials was detrimental to national growth as the Federal Government facilitated establishment of indigenous industries producing the commodities.
According to him, people should complement government efforts to rejuvenate industries that promote employment generation among Nigerians to boost nation’s revenue.
Ahmad said that ban on importation of vehicles and others still existed.
He said smuggled food items were dangerous to health because they were not certified by relevant government agencies.
He added that the elephant tusk seizure was part of Customs efforts to fight poaching on endangered species in Africa where trade in elephant tusk constituted part of illegal ivory trade.
The controller said smugglers’ tactics of using animals, number plates with traditional rulers’ names and others were being tracked by various patrol teams on routine bases.
He said Customs partnered with security agencies, NAFDAC and others, noting that a strike-force led by one DSC Yahaya made major seizures.