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Smuggling: Seme Customs seizes 7 tankers of PMS, 2242 Bags of Rice in 3 months

*Hands-over $6m fake bills to EFCC

The Seme Border Command of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Tuesday announced seizures of 2242 bags of rice being smuggled into the country and seven tankers of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) in the first three months of this year.

The Command also said that it has handed over $6m fake bills to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Addressing newsmen in Seme Customs fommand, the Controller, Comptroller Dera Nnadi disclosed that other items seized by the command during the during review period include 550 pieces of donkey skin with duty paid value (DPV) of N10,689,504; six Maltese International Passports with the same picture of a lady but with different names, 2 Senegalese International Passports.
He said the seven tankers were laden with 227,610 liters of PMS with DPV of N51,075,684.
Comptroller Nnadi said: “Among the seized items were;  three Togolese International Passports; four Republic of Benin International Passports, one Republic of Niger International Passport and 10 International Driving License of these various countries were seized and will be handed over to the Nigeria Immigration Service on the orders of the CGC and in line with the Service desire to consolidate the synergy between NCS and partner agencies.
“Also seized by the Command is 1160 pieces of dead rats, 1102 pieces of dead tiny birds and 34 pieces of monkey skin and 14 parcels of cannabis sativa”.
The Comptroller however said there was shortfall in revenue recorded during the period compared to what was recorded during the same period last year.
He explained, “Recall that I had earlier informed you that the economic policy of the Republic of Benin who charge fees on goods in transit to Nigeria constitute tariff barriers to trade along the corridor.
“These affected the Command’s revenue and there is a need for urgent review,” he said.
Comptroller Nnadi noted that one of the one core mandates of the Service in Seme as elsewhere is trade facilitation. Adding that  the Command is conscious of its strategic location as the foremost frontier for trade and tourism in West and Central Africa particularly the ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme (ETLS) and the emerging African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA).
According to him, Nigeria has lots of potentials in both trade regimes considering its GDP, population and industrial capacity which is the highest in the West and Central Africa subregion and indeed Africa.
“However, I wish to repeat as I had earlier mentioned in my previous interactions with the media that the major source of revenue of the Command (import/export) have not been enhanced since the opening of the land borders as directed by the Federal Government of Nigeria as the traders are still bracing with the challenges of having been out of business for over two years.

“Where few have embraced the reality of the circumstances, they have requested and appealed for a review of the process of obtaining approvals for re-exportation which requires that they go to Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning at Abuja for every application for re-exportation”, Comptroller Nnadi disclosed.

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