We Will Run Smugglers Out of Business, Customs CG Vows

*Says Nigerians conniving with foreigners in smuggling
* Indicted dismissed customs officers to face prosecution
*Ali Commends FOU Ikeja operatives
By Blessing Ifeoma
The Comptroller General of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Rtd Col Hammed Ali Tuesday vowed to run smugglers out of business.
Describing smuggling as the most terrible aspect of sabotage on the national economy, Ali said the Customs Service will not allow the illegitimate business to thrive in the country .
Ali who spoke during the inspection of N1.6Bn goods seized by the Federal Operation Unit (FOU) Ikeja , said the Service will continue to work towards crippling smugglers and getting them out of business.
The said that smuggling was thriving in the country because some unscrupulous Nigerians were conniving with foreigners in the illegitimate trade.
He disclosed that some officers have been dismissed because of reports indicting them over smuggling, adding that there were those who have faced other disciplinary measures.
Some of the indicted officers apart from the disciplinary measures taken against them risk being jailed over their activities, Ali said.
The Customs Comptroller-General said: “What we need in this Country is physical discipline. We do not have it. People do not have conscience. How can we grow and be great. We are great because we are the largest in number but in terms of performance where are we? Look at all the indices by World Bank, IMF; we always rank lowest because of our own attitude as Nigerians. We don’t love our own nation. We do not believe in Nigeria. These importations are not done by Indians alone, if it is done, it is done in collaboration with Nigerians. For every one Indian to operate, there are ten Nigerians supporting him and that is why he succeeds.
“You can’t go to their country and do this, certainly you won’t be free. But in Nigeria, anybody can come and align with us and cheat this great nation.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the Federal Government Policies banning the importation of rice and vehicles through the land borders are still in force. Nigeria Customs Service remains resolute in its determination to enforce these policies. NCs will continue to work towards crippling smugglers and getting them out of the illegitimate business.
“In the face of security and economic challenges, no responsible government will fold its hand while unpatriotic elements continue to work towards ensuring compliance with all extant laws governing imports and exports in Nigeria. For those who use violence as instrument of intimidation, let it be known that going forward, NCS operatives will not hesitate to use appropriate force to deal with any threat that is intended to obstruct performance of statutory function”.
He commended officers and men of the Federal operation Unit, Zone A, Ikeja for doing a good in tackling smugglers.
Among the N1.6bn worth of seizures made between July 13 to August 7 August were 20 brand new Jeeps of 2017 model and 17 Toyota Hilux jeeps 2016, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010 and 2009 models.
The 37 assorted vehicles have a duty paid value of N1.3bn. The vehicles were being smuggled into the country through unapproved routes before Customs operatives intercepted them.
Apart from the cars, the Customs also seized 12,081 bags of smuggled parboiled rice with a duty paid value of N149million.
Apart from the seizures of vehicles and rice, the customs operatives also recorded 156 other assorted seizures, including bales of used clothes, Indian hemp and used tyres.
Ali who inspected the seizures at the FOU, Ikeja, expressed dismay over the attempt of some importers to evade payment of duties by resorting to smuggling.

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