The Customs in Ogun State has stated that the command has confiscated no fewer than 1,533 units of the banned generating set, popularly known as “I better pass my neighbour,” which was smuggled into the country through one of the smugglers rout.
ShittuAlmaruf, Assistant Comptroller, who is the team leader, made the disclosure in a statement made available to newsmen recently in Lagos, stating that the seizures were made on May 19, along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
He said; “Similarly, the team in another operation intercepted a bus along the Sagamu-Ijebu-Ode Expressway, laden with 542 cartons of foreign frozen poultry products.’’
Almaruf noted that his squad was saddled with the responsibility of enforcement of the fiscal policies of the Federal Government with regard to trade, in conjunction with other anti-smuggling arms of the NCS, adding that after the seizures were made, the truck was taken to the Customs House in Abeokuta, alongside the Mini-bus conveying the frozen poultry products, which where 100 per cent examined.
“The items were subjected to 100 per cent examination to ascertain the quantity of items seized; following which they were converted to seizures in line with Sections 46 & 47 of the Customs Management Act, Cap 45 LFN,’’ he added.
He said that the team was devising other means of ensuring that the activities of smugglers were curtailed, stressing that the team had been taking anti-smuggling campaign to all nooks and crannies of Ogun State.
He noted; “Nigeria Customs is merely enforcing a law which emanated from a memo of the Federal Ministry of Environment advising the Government on the health implication. This ban came into effect on April 28, 2011, and was officially gazetted in May of the same year.
“You will recall that the Federal Government gazette No 47 Volume 98, stated categorically that the purpose of this regulation is to restore, preserve and improve the quality of air,’’ he maintained.
He stressed that the interception was intended to safe guard the citizens’ right and access to clean air; reduce and prevent air pollution; and improve the health of Nigerians, especially in urban areas with high incidence of air pollution.
“With regard to the seized frozen poultry products, we are not relenting in our efforts to protect the health of Nigerians as well as the huge investments of our local farmers. We will continue to frustrate the efforts of the smugglers until they hearken to the voice of reason. These products, apart from the fact that they fall under the import prohibition list, are also very detrimental to human health; hence not good for consumption,’’ Almaruf pointed out.
He commended the Comptroller-General of Customs, Retired Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali and the management for their support on logistics and provision of the necessary tools of operations.
He stated that the team had faced series of hostilities by miscreants and street urchins who pretended to be smugglers, adding that such pressure would not deter the team from performing its constitutional duty of suppressing smuggling activities to its barest minimum.
Almaruf, said that his team, alongside other anti-smuggling arms, would always protect the interest of compliant importers and their representatives, in line with the legitimate trade facilitation policy of the NCS.
He called on all Nigerians to support the Compliance team and other Customs formations in the war against smuggling.