Reps urges Nigerian government to constitute Customs board

The House of Representatives on Tuesday urged the Federal Government to constitute the Nigerian Customs Service board.

This was sequel to a motion raised by Kingsley Chinda (Rivers-PDP).

He said since the powers exercised by the Customs, Immigration and Prison services Board to appoint, promote and exercise disciplinary control over staff of the Nigerian Customs Service, are vested in the Board, there is need to urgently constitute the board.

“Absence of the Nigerian Customs Service Board is a contravention of the provisions of the Act and thereby affecting the effective functioning of the Customs Service,” Mr. Chinda said.

He maintained that unless the anomaly in the non-composition of the board was urgently addressed, the essence of the Act would be defeated.

He expressed his displeasure over the continued failure by the Finance Minister to constitute the Board.

The house unanimously adopted the motion and resolved to forward the resolution to the Senate for concurrence and urge the finance minister to urgently constitute the Board of Customs.

The committee on Customs and Excise was mandated to ensure implementation and report back in four weeks for further legislative action.

President Buhari had at the inception of his administration, dissolved all Boards of Federal Government Parastatals leaving only those of tertiary institutions.

The president had in the past week constituted boards for some parastatals under the ministry of Information and Culture.


Source: Premium Times

Hameed Ali’s uniform controversy is a mere distraction, not the main issue – Dogara

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, on Tuesday described the face-off between the Comptroller General of Customs, Hameed Ali, and the Senate as a “mere distraction.”

Mr. Dogara, who stated this when he hosted newspaper editors in his office in Abuja, said the uniform is not supposed to be the main issue.

“The main issue is delivery,” he said, suggesting that Mr. Ali’s performance in office should be the focus.

The senate last week called for the resignation of Mr. Ali, saying he was unfit to hold any public office.

The senate’s decision followed Mr. Ali’s refusal to appear before the lawmakers in full customs uniform. A week before then, the lawmakers had turned Mr. Ali back after he appeared before them, but without the Customs uniform.

Mr. Ali’s problem with the senate started with a controversial customs policy on retroactive payment of duties on imported cars. Following the senate’s condemnation of the policy, the customs reversed it. But the lawmakers insisted Mr. Ali, a retired army colonel, appear before them.

The customs chief refused saying the matter was in court – filed by a private citizen – and there was a directive by the attorney general that both parties maintain the current status.

In its resolution last week, the Senate said it would ask the House of Representatives to concur with its decision.

On Tuesday, Mr. Dogara said the decision of the House of Representatives on the matter can only be decided at the plenary.

“I can’t speak for the House; the House will have to speak for itself through a resolution of the House.

“I cannot pre-judge what the outcome of the debate will be,” he said.

Mr. Dogara, however, said the Senate and House work closely as is necessary in a bicameral legislature.

He said Nigerians and the media should focus more on what the law states on the uniform controversy rather than on the stance of the Senate or Mr. Ali.


Source: Premium Times

BREAKING: Customs impounds 13 vehicles from Kano Senator – The Cable

The comptroller-general of customs (CGC) compliance task force has sealed off the residence of a senator from Kano state after seizing 13 vehicles allegedly hidden there.

Bala Dole, task force zonal commander, made this known on Monday, revealing that the vehicles were 12 new Toyota Hilux and one Land Cruiser Jeep.

Dole, who declined to name the senator, said the vehicles were trailed from Maigatari in Jigawa, following an intelligence report.

He said 210 other vehicles were seized, alongside other items, including foodstuff worth N269.5 million in Kano and Jigawa states, within eight months.

“Based on the intelligence report, the vehicles were 30 in number but we were able to trail 13 of them 12 of which were hidden in the senator’s compound,” he said.

“We sealed the house and retrieved the vehicles and they are now in our custody.”

He said the other items the task force confiscated during special operations include; 9,757 bags of rice, 2,916 of foreign supergetti, 2,770 cartons of foreign vegetable oil and 999 cartons of macaroni.

Dole said others were; 889 veils of second hand clothes, 50 used school bags, 110 cartons of new foreign shoes, 956 bags of mosquito coil and six fairly used cars.

“The total value of the seizure made by the task force since it was established in July 2016, excluding the 13 Senator’s vehicles, is N269.5 million,” he said.

“We are yet to determine the cost of the 13 vehicles belonging to the senator.”


Source: The Cable

Senate VS Customs: Lawmakers begin probe of alleged 4 Trillion Naira leakage

The Senate Committee on Customs, Excise and Tariff, has commenced investigation into over N4trillion revenue leakage in the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) between 2006 and 2016.

Chairman of the committee, Sen. Hope Uzodinma, told newsmen in Abuja that his committee would stop at nothing in recovering the money.

Preliminary investigation by the committee, he said, revealed that the N4trillion leakage was as a result of various forms of infractions including abuse and non-implementation of Form M (foreign exchange form).

He noted that other factors that may have been responsible for the leakage could have been wrong classification of cargo under harmonized system codes, non-screening of cargoes coming into the country and lack of adequate ICT infrastructure for revenue collection.

Uzodinma said that cancellation of pre-arrival assessment reports, abandonment of single goods declaration may also have been responsible for the leakage.

He said, “The Senate Committee on Customs has condemned the inability of the technical committee on the implementation of comprehensive import supervision scheme to ensure that the provisions of the Act are followed to the letter.

“The committee frowns at the quantum of revenue losses and it will stop at nothing in ensuring that those involved in this ugly act would return all recoverable monies with them.

“The committee also frowns at the level of collusion and corruption within the Customs Service.

“At the end of our current investigation, all these will become a thing of the past and customs revenue will be enhanced and non-oil revenue will be improved upon.

“What we are investigating is not money spent. It is the leakages.

“For instance, I am supposed to pay XYZ amount of duty, I will abandon the documentation, go get fake documents, collude with customs, pay maybe a fraction of it and carry my goods. With that, the true import circle is not closed.

“Another instance is that assessment is abandoned, or I fill the form M for example with a pro forma invoice, apply for foreign exchange in Central Bank, XYZ amount of money is allocated to me, money moves in but no goods shipped.

“I will then go get fake documents, collude with customs and then retire the allocation.”

According to him, his committee had started investigating activities of companies and banks indicted in the matter.

He said, “We will not mention the companies involved because we are also very careful of the integrity and public perception of some of these companies, being that some of them are in the Stock Market.

“We will be diplomatic in carrying out this investigation. This is to the extent that little or no damage will be done to the integrity and image of such companies provided that government revenues in their hands will be recovered.

“I am sure that the executive arm of government will be willing and interested to ensure that the monies that are littered here and there are recovered.

“If they can pay up to five per cent to whistle blowers to recover money, it means in this case where no money is required or whistleblower required, they will be interested to do justice.

“Having gone through the legislations and books available to my office as it has to do with the administration of the customs service, it only implements policies made by the Ministry of Finance.

“So, it sounds very strange to hear that Customs gets up and says they are making a policy. That is what I am yet to understand and there is no way to fathom that before the law.

“The referral is already before us. I was waiting for him to appear before the senate before we commence a full blown investigation into some of those issues that have been referred to us.

“Concerning the suspended policy on payment of customs duties on old vehicles, the committee will continue to interface with the service to ensure that the policy is cancelled not suspended.

“The whole idea is about governance and governance is about the people and nobody is licenced or entitled to talk about the people more than the elected representatives.

“So in my view there is no hullaballoo. We will discuss with them and wise reasoning will prevail,” he said.


Source: Daily Post

“I will not appear before Senate on Wednesday”, declares Hameed Ali.

Hameed Ali, comptroller-general of the Nigeria Customs Service (NSC), says he will not appear before the senate on Wednesday.

The CG has been having a running battle with the upper legislative chamber over its policy on retroactive collection of import duty on cars as well as his refusal to wear the uniform of the CG.

He was turned back last week by the senators for failing to wear the uniform.

After observing his prayers at the presidential villa mosque on Tuesday afternoon, he told journalists: “?The case is in court already. Somebody has sued us. It is subjudice. I have gotten my writ of summons and they said status quo should remain ante which means nothing moves until the court makes a pronouncement. ??

“A private individual sued all of us, he wants an interpretation of the section that is in contention. I don’t want to talk so that I am not held in contempt of court.”

He then rushed out of the villa on foot using the security gate used by service chiefs.?


Source: The Cable

Senate investigates alleged customs’ seizure of “Saraki’s car.”

The senate has directed its committee on ethics and privileges to investigate the alleged seizure of a bulletproof car purportedly owned by Bukola Saraki.

The car was reportedly seized by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) of which comptroller-general, Hameed Ali, had been locked in a face-off with the senate.

The upper legislative chamber had summoned Ali to appear before it in uniform over the customs’ planned enforcement of duty on old cars.

But the customs chief appeared before the senate in civilian attire. He was subsequently ordered out of the chamber with an order to get a uniform.

However, there were insinuations that the senate was being hard on Ali because the customs had seized a sport utility vehicle (SUV) of Saraki.

On Tuesday, Ali Ndume, a senator from Borno state, raised a point of order asking the upper legislative chamber to investigate the allegation.

He said Nigerians were insulting the senate over the matter.

He also asked the senate to investigate allegations of certificate forgery against Dino Melaye, a senator from Kogi west.

After listening to the motion, deputy senate president Ike Ekweremadu, who presided over the session, referred it to the committee on ethics and privileges, and he directed it to submit its report in four weeks.


Source: The Cable

Illegal directive on wearing of uniform by customs boss – By Femi Falana

The timely reaction of the senate to the policy of the Nigeria Customs Service to compel all vehicle owners to pay appropriate duties has once again questioned the extent of the oversight powers of the national assembly.

In contributing to the interesting debate I shall examine the legal validity of the policy, the legal competence of the senate to summon the comptroller-general of customs to justify the policy and the legality of the directive that he should appear before the senate in uniform.

Illegal policy of Nigeria Customs Service on payment of appropriate duties.

We are aware that the Nigeria Customs Service has announced the suspension of the implementation of the policy to compel all vehicle owners in Nigeria to pay appropriate customs duties from March 13-April 12, 2017. Notwithstanding the suspension we deem it fit to point out that the policy is illegal as the Nigeria Customs Service is completely estopped from collecting additional duties from vehicle owners who had paid the duties charged at the time of importation. Under the doctrine of estoppel by conduct the Nigeria Customs Service cannot be permitted to deny the payment of what was charged and collected as appropriate duties from vehicle owners several years ago.

In Alhaja Abibatu Mogaji v Board of Customs (1982) 3 NCLR 552, the armed agents of the defendant invaded and raided markets in Lagos and seized contraband goods. In the process, some of the traders were brutalized. They sued the defendant for damages in the Lagos high court. Apart from condemning the violations of the traders to dignity the Lagos high court cautioned that “Those in authority in customs and excise matters ought to intensify methods for apprehending offenders at the point of entry of goods into the country as it becomes more difficult to do so afterwards.” In Margaret Stitch v Attorney-General of the Federation (1986) 2 NSSC 1389 the Supreme Court held that the appellant was only liable to pay the customs duty based upon the rate of duty payable when she imported her used Mercedes Benz car. It was the view of the apex court that it was unjust and retrospectively punitive to impose an additional financial liability of about N13,000 on the appellant.

In view of the settled position of the law on the matter what is required on the part of the management of the Nigeria Customs Service is not a suspension of the illegal policy but its outright annulment without any further delay. Of course, the authorities of the Nigeria Customs Service cannot be precluded from arresting and prosecuting highly placed individuals who usually forge importation documents in order to evade the payment of the appropriate duties to the coffers of the federal government.

Incompetence of the senate to summon CGC on policy matters

Under the pretext of exercising its oversight powers last week the senate summoned the CGC to appear before it to justify the policy on payment of appropriate duties from March 13-April 2017. Since he did not appear in uniform the senate decided to adjourn its debate on the matter to enable him to comply with the directive. In spite of the importance attached to the trifle and diversionary directive on uniform it is submitted that the senate lacks the vires to summon the CGC on policy matters. Indeed the oversight power of either house of the national assembly is not at large but limited by section 88 (2) of the constitution to enable it to “make laws with respect to any matter within its legislative competence and correct any defects in existing laws and expose corruption, inefficiency or waste in the execution or administration of laws within its legislative competence and in the disbursement or administration of funds appropriate by it”.

Since the decision of the senate has nothing to do with making laws or exposing corruption, inefficiency or waste in the disbursement of funds appropriated by it the summoning of the CGC constitutes a blatant violation of the constitution. No doubt, the policy was designed to generate revenue for the federal government. To that extent the senate may be accused of shielding criminal elements who have engaged in the evasion of the payment of customs duties. If the senate had wanted to protect the interests of vehicle owners including themselves they ought to have entered into dialogue with the minister of finance. There is no legal or moral basis for the arrogance of power being displayed by the senate whose leadership has recently being linked with the illegal importation of a bullet proof limousine with fake papers to evade the payment of appropriate customs duties.

In El-rufai v House of Representatives (2003) 46 W.R.N 70 the court of appeal placed heavy reliance on the case of senate of the National Assembly v Tony Momoh where it was held that “no power exists under the section for general investigation not for personal aggrandizement of the house”. So the appellants were not entitled to have invited the respondent in the first instance. In the instant case, the senate is not conducting an investigation but challenging the policy of the Nigeria Customs Service on payment of duties. With respect., the summons served on the CGC is illegal and unconstitutional as it cannot be justified under section 88(2) of the constitution.

Illegal directive on wearing of uniform by CGC

However, the senate engaged in another illegality when it exceeded its powers by asking the CGC to appear before it in customs uniform. Neither the constitution not the rules of procedure of the senate has conferred on it the power to compel the CGC to wear customs union when he is not a serving customs office. Indeed, the directive is a reckless usurpation of the powers of the board which is the only competent body to decide on the wearing of uniform by customs officer.

In many countries including South Africa customs officers do not wear uniforms. It is on record that the first 4 heads of the customs department in Nigeria never wore uniforms.

Under the defunct military junta, officials of the security agencies wore uniforms as they claimed that they were either military or paramilitary forces. With respect to the customs service, its officers are required to wear uniforms in accordance with section 8 of the customs excise and preventive service regulations which provides that “clothing and equipment shall be of such pattern and worn in such manner as the board shall determine.” The suit challenging the legal validity of Col Hameed Ali’s appointment has been dismissed on the ground that the President has the power to appoint a non-customs officer to head the customs service. Since a competent court has held that he is not a customs officer, Ali cannot be made to wear any uniform by the senate.

If I am said to be wrong I challenge the senate to refer to any law that supports the wearing of uniform by the head of the customs service who is not a serving customs officer. The EFCC has been headed by 3 serving police officers and a retired police officer but the senate never mandated any of them to wear uniform whenever they appeared before it. Even the embattled acting chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu who appeared for confirmation in the senate last week was not directed to wear his uniform even though he is a serving police officer.

I should not be understood as saying that the senate deserves to be treated with disdain. All I am saying is that the senate should have appreciated the limit of its powers under the constitution. Thus, instead of playing into the hands of the CGC by invoking the provision of section 88 of the constitution, the senate could have summoned the minister of finance to justify the policy of the Nigeria Customs Service, a parastatal under her supervision. That would have been in consonance with section 67 (2) of the constitution which has imposed a duty on every minister to attend either house of the national assembly to explain “the conduct of his Ministry, and in particular when the affairs of the Ministry are under discussion.”

Finally, the Nigeria Customs Service should be directed by the minister of finance to cancel the illegal policy on payment of appropriate excise duties. If the federal government remains recalcitrant on the matter we shall not hesitate to challenge the policy at the federal high court. However, if the federal government is seriously committed to end the importation of vehicles into Nigeria via neighboring countries it should direct the Nigeria Customs Service to reduce the prohibitive duties charged on imported vehicles.

UPDATE: I’m not mandated by any law to wear uniform as Customs boss – Hameed Ali

The Comptroller-general of the Nigeria Customs Service Hameed Ali has told the Senate that there was no law that required him to wear uniform as Customs boss.

Ali said this on Thursday on the floor of the Senate while responding to a question from Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu.

Ekweremadu asked Ali, “Please oblige us if you have any reason for not wearing the Customs uniform?”, to which Ali responded, “There’s no law requiring me to wear uniform as CG of Customs”.

However, Senator Magnus Abe pleads with the CG Customs to wear his uniform to preserve the image of the Customs and perception of other institutions.

Senator Ali Wakili also appealed to the Senate to temper justice with mercy, saying; “Hameed Ali is a man of integrity, we should liaise with him”.

FLASH: Senate plans to send Hameed Ali out of NASS complex for not wearing Customs uniform

Members of the Nigerian Senate are planning to send Customs Comptroller General Hamid Ali out of the National Assembly if he refuses to put on his uniform.

Recall that the senate had requested that Ali appears before it, in customs uniform, which Ali had rejected on two occasions, saying he was not appointed to wear uniform.

He however showed up at the NASs complex to day wearing a white native attire and a white cap.

More Details To Come.

BREAKING: Hameed Ali arrives at the Senate — In white native attire and white cap

Hameed Ali, comptroller general  of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), has arrived at the national assembly complex, but not in customs uniform as requested by the senate.

Earlier, the senate had requested that Ali appears before it, in customs uniform, which Ali had rejected on two occasions, saying he was not appointed to wear uniform.

On Thursday however, Ali finally appeared before the senate in white native attire and a white cap.

“I can’t appear before the Senate on Wednesday”, Customs Boss, Hameed Ali says.

The Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Customs Service, NCS, Hameed Ali, has written the Senate, notifying the lawmakers he will not appear before them on Wednesday as expected. ?

The Senate Clerk read Mr. Ali’s letter on Tuesday.

He was summoned last Thursday over the planned clampdown on vehicles without duty payment.

In its resolution, the Senate said Mr. Ali must appear in appropriate Customs uniform which he has not been publicly seen to have worn.

He had hit back at the Senate, asking the lawmakers to show interest in his work not his dress.

In his letter, he said he had to attend an NCS meeting; but the Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawann said that reason was not tenable.


Source: Premium Times

“Wear uniform or resign,” Senate tells Customs boss Hammed Ali

The Senate has asked the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Hameed Ali to resign if he cannot appear before it in his uniform.

The upper chamber during plenary last Thursday mandated Ali to appear before it in Customs uniform over the agency’s plan to impound vehicles that do not have customs duty from April.

“If retired Colonel Ali cannot respect the Customs service or he’s ashamed of wearing its uniform and rank of his position while appearing before peoples’ representatives, then he should honourably resign,” Senator Solomon Adeola representing APC, Lagos West, said in a statement issued on Sunday, March 12.

The Senator also explained that the Senate mandated Ali to wear his uniform in order to protect the organizational integrity and discipline in the institution.

At the Thursday plenary, Adeola had backed Senator Dino Melaye on the need for the Senate to curb Ali’s ‘high-handedness.’

He said the Customs boss is “carrying out the affairs of this agency as if he is the managing director or the commander-in-chief of this country.”

However, the Comptroller General, in response to the Senate order, said he would not wear his uniform to the National Assembly, noting that he was not appointed to wear the uniform.

Ali has been wearing mufti while carrying out official duties since his appointment.

In the statement, Senator Adeola expressed disappointment in Ali’s response, saying he expected him, as a retired army colonel, to know the importance of uniforms.

Adeola said: “Military and paramilitary uniforms inclusive of ranks are part of the symbol of legitimate authority conferred on the wearer to carry out certain duties on behalf of the government.

“Except in covert operations, an officer in these organizations operating without uniform could be taken to be performing illegal duty or worse, be taken as not representing the institution at all. And as stated on the floor of the Senate in plenary, the Comptroller General is rank that can only be worn on uniform and not on mufti.”

According to him, there is concern among officers and men of the Customs Service on the appointment of ‘outsider’ to head the agency as it is a morale killer, career progression inhibitor as well as damaging to the organizational growth of the service stressing that there may be need to amend the Nigerian Customs Act to restrict appointment of CG to career officers as it is done in the Nigerian Police Force, the Nigerian Immigrations and the Nigerian Prisons Service.

“The APC-led Government of President Muhammadu Buhari was elected on the promise of change, adherence to rule of law and renunciation of impunity in any forms. The story we hear daily is the arrogance and high-handedness of the CG and name dropping of the President. We had it on good authority of his reluctance to be answerable to the Minister of Finance as stipulated in laws of the land.

We that were elected cannot look the other way while the people we represent are subjected to avoidable hardship orchestrated by an unelected appointee in a bid to cure the inefficiencies of the agency he leads. We are in a democracy,” the  Senator added.

The lawmaker stressed that the Senate supports Buhari’s anti-corruption drive as well as effort to increase revenue to get the nation out of recession but cautioned that no one should use personal agenda to drive public policy.

Senate orders CG Hameed Ali to appear before it wearing a Customs uniform

The Senate has ordered the Comptroller-general of the Nigerian Customs Service, Hameed Ali to appear before it next Wednesday in his appropriate uniform.

This was part of deliberations at Thursday’s plenary.

The Senate had on Tuesday directed the service to halt the collection of custom duty on vehicles.

But the Acting Public Relations Officer of Customs, Joseph Attah, said the one month grace period was still in force despite the order of the senate.

Speaking on the matter on the floor of the chamber at plenary, Senator Dino Melaye cited order 42/45, after referencing a national daily which reported that the Customs was going ahead with duty collection.

He said the Customs was operating under its own laws as he demanded that the Customs CG should appear before the Senate in his uniform.

Senators Solomon Adeola, Kabir Marafa and Aliyu Wamakko all supported Melaye’s position that the CG appears before the Senate.

On his part, Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan said the customs must make effort in securing the borders.

He urged his colleagues not to act based on newspaper reports, saying that the senate has always supported the Customs, as he called for a proper dialogue.

He added that any Government official that is asked to face the Senate must do so within the stipulated time.

Senator Emmanuel Bwacha said, “Government officials must respect the rule of law, if they undermine the Senate they are indirectly undermining the president.”

Another senator, Atai Aidiko, said, “It is painful if you buy a car, you are not a car dealer and they say your documents are fake and your car is impounded.”

“A lot of cars bought during the Xmas period were ceased along the Benin-Ore road and have not been returned till date,” Sen. Obina Ogba said.

On his part, Sen. Lanre Tejuosho queried the activities of the service.

He said, “Customs official killed two men from my constituency, we must look into the activities of the Customs”.

Speaking on the matter, the Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu who presided over plenary said the upper legislative chamber must also fight impunity alongside corruption.

He directed the comptroller general to appear before the Senate in his appropriate uniform on Wednesday 15th of March, 2017.


Source: YNaija

Nigeria Loses Over N130b To Corruption At Land Border – NANT

Nigerian traders say the country lost more than N130bn to corruption at its porous land borders in the past three months.

According to Ukaoha, Nigerians can only imagine the gravity of the situation when similar practices happening at the airports and seaports are taken into consideration.

The President, National Association of Nigerian Traders, Mr Ken Ukaoha, on Wednesday, said, “These past three months alone, Nigeria has lost more than N130 billion due to the porosity of our borders and the corrupt practices going along the border routes.

“This is for land borders only.

“We have not added the goings on at the airports and we have not added the ones at the seaports.

“And these are selected land borders.

“So you will know the gravity of the situation if you add up everything.’’

Ukaoha called on the Federal Government to address the corrupt practices on the country’s trade routes especially in view of the fact that cross-border trade is key to economic recovery, revenue generation and growth.

“The unnecessary trade barriers created by non-transparent, burdensome rules and procedures, in turn, constitute vulnerabilities and breed corrupt behaviours,’’ he said.

The president of the association stated that unnecessary delays in the movement of goods have continued to increase operators’ and consumer’s losses as well as reduce the revenue that should accrue to the government.

He added that the unnecessary delays in the movement of goods had further increased the cost of doing business.

He said sharp practices such as over-invoicing, false declaration of goods, illegal importation, smuggling, trafficking either in human or small arms, as well as drug peddling were being perpetrated on the trade routes on a daily basis.

Ukaoha stated that the association is working closely with the Economic Community of West African States toward tackling the corruption that goes on at border routes.

He said the ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme would be used to promote trade and economic integration in the region.

The scheme was set up in 1979 as one of the first and immediate instruments of ECOWAS to galvanise the realisation of development objectives of the region.

Ukaoha stressed the need for awareness campaign involving all trade-related committees and clerks to deepen understanding of the scheme and other related regimes.

He also called on ECOWAS to set up a dedicated portal for the scheme to ease access to information.

Ukaoha further called for the relocation of the National Approval Committee (NAC) of ETLS to the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


Source: NAN

Senate Summons NCS Comptroller General, Hameed Ali Over Duty On Old Cars

The senate has summoned the Comptroller of the Nigeria Customs Service, Hameed Ali to explain a recent circular to levy duty on old vehicles already in the country.

Senate Deputy Majority leader, Bala Ibn na’allah? citing order 42 and 53 with regards to the circular urged senators to look into the sudden move to impound vehicles already cleared by a registered car dealer.

The President, Shippers Owners Association of Nigeria Greg Ogbiefun wants   a review of the Coastal and Inland Shipping act otherwise known as the Cabotage Act.

This was amongst discussions raised at the Shippers Association General elections.

JUST IN: Senate halts Nigerian Customs vehicle duty ultimatum

Nigerian Senate has passed a resolution directing the Nigerian Customs Service to halt its plan to penalise Nigerians who do not pay duties on their vehicles within one month.

The resolution, on Tuesday, followed a motion by the Deputy Leader, Bala Na’Allah, who said the new Customs policy was “a serious matter”.

In his contribution, Kogi senator, Dino Melaye, said it was not possible to import vehicle without clearance or “collaboration” of the Customs.

The Senate resolved that Customs halt actions until the agency appears before its Committee on Customs.

Senate President Saraki Saraki said it was the responsibility of the senate to ensure welfare of Nigerians.

Customs had threatened to impound vehicles without duty papers, and to prosecute their owners.


Source: Premium Times

Vehicle owners nationwide have 30 days to pay duty – Customs

The Comptroller-General of Customs (CGC), Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali has granted a 30 day grace period to all vehicle owners whose Customs Duty have not been paid, to do so or face prosecution.

This is coming two months after the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) banned all importation of vehicles through the land borders on January 1, 2017.

The Daily Trust reports that many dealers and stakeholders kicked against the ban even after NCS gave 21 day grace period from December 2016 for all vehicles at neighbouring ports to be cleared.

Col. Ali at a workshop on integration of National Vehicle Identification System (NVIS) at the Customs College in Abuja last December said 70 per cent of registered vehicles in Nigeria are not documented for duty payment by the Service.

Minister of Finance, Mrs.Kemi Adeosun at the event said the integrated NVIS would commence this month to discourage vehicle smuggling and the evasion of Customs duty payment by smuggled vehicle owners.

In apparent effort at this, the NCS in a statement by its acting PRO,Joseph Attah on Thursday said between Monday March 13 and Wednesday April 12,2017,all private owners and motor dealers are advised to visit the nearest Customs Zonal Office to pay the appropriate Customs Duty on them.

“The CGC therefore calls on all persons in possession of such vehicles to take advantage of the grace period to pay appropriate duties on them, as there will be an aggressive anti-smuggling operation to seize as well as prosecute owners of such smuggled vehicles after the deadline of Wednesday 12th April, 2017,” the statement noted.

It clarified that all private car owners who are not sure of the authenticity of their vehicles customs documents should approach the Zonal Offices to verify so they can comply with the directive.

The statement gave the four Zonal Offices of the Service to be Zone A Headquarters at No. 1 Harvey Road, Yaba, Lagos; Zone B Headquarters, Kabala Doki, Kaduna; Zone C Headquarters, Nigeria Ports Authority, Port Harcourt and Zone D Headquarters, Yelwa Tudu Road, Bauchi State.

EFCC Seizes More Property Allegedly Linked To ExCustom CG Dikko

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says it has recovered some vehicles and tricycles in a warehouse allegedly belonging to a former Comptroller-General of Customs, Abdullahi Dikko.

The Head of Operations, Kaduna zonal office of the ant-graft agency, Bappa Ibrahim, disclosed this to journalists on Tuesday in Kaduna State.

He said the vehicles and other items were allegedly recovered from Dikko’s property located at Nnamdi Azikwe by-pass in the state capital.

According to the Mr Ibrahim, this recent recovery will not be the first since the inception of the zonal office a month ago.

He added that the recovery was sequel to an intelligence report received that stolen money and properties suspected to be proceeds of crime were being warehoused at the former Customs boss’ premises.

Mr Ibrahim said upon receipt of the report, a team was put together from the Kaduna Zonal Office of the commission to carry out investigation on the matter.

He listed the items allegedly recovered from Mr Dikko to include a Nissan truck laden with imported rug carpets, a white colour Nissan Urban Bus, 2006 model also loaded with imported rugs, tricycles and motorcycles, as well as two empty fire proof safe.

The latest recovery by the EFCC is coming barely one week after the commission recovered 17 vehicles of different brands hidden inside a warehouse allegedly belonging to the former Comptroller of Customs.

They include black colour BMW 525i series – 2010 model, ash colour Hyundai Velester – 2012 model and a dark blue BMW 325i – 2003 model.

Others are black colour Land Cruiser Prado Jeep – 2014 model, a black colour Mercedes G wagon – 2013 model and a black colour BMW 335i series – 2012 model.

Also recovered were silver colour Porsche Cayene – 2009 model and gold colour Honda Accord – 2013 model.

According to the EFCC, investigation revealed that the warehouse in question actually belongs to Mr Dikko.

Mr Ibrahim has called on the public to assist the anti-graft agency with useful information about corrupt public officials, adding that the EFCC will not relent in the fight against corruption in Nigeria.


Source: Channels TV

Customs Justifies Raid On Warehouses Suspected For Smuggled Goods

The Nigeria Customs Service has declared that it has constitutional right to raid any shop or warehouse suspected to harbour smuggled goods in the country.

This defence is coming days after crisis erupted in Sango Otta, Ogun State, over the Customs raid on some shops suspected to be dealing in smuggled goods.

The Customs Area Comptroller for Oyo and Osun Area Command, Temitope Ogunkua, while speaking with journalists on the achievements of the command in the last quarter of 2016 and 2017, maintained that there is no action taken by Customs officers without the backing of the law.

Citing section 147 of the Customs and Excise Management Act 1990, Ogunkua said officers of the service are well empowered to embark on raiding at any time, anywhere and that the fact that they don’t do that regularly does not mean they lack the power to.

Ogunkua, also disclosed that the command has recorded a significant feat despite the economic challenges, noting that many seizures amounting to 14.9 billion Naira within the months of January to December in 2016.

He reiterated the determination of the command to contribute her quota to national development through income generation.

He disclosed that “the command has made a total of 18 seizures with duty paid value of 20.9 million Naira.  Apart from these, another seizure of almost 9,000 bags of imported rice with duty paid value of 88.9 million Naira was arrested and evacuated in a ware house in conjunction with the Federal Operations Unit zone A.

“Am using this medium to reiterate the commitment of this command to contribute its quota as it plays a strategic role of revenue collection, trade facilitation and border security”.

Ogunkua also emphasised the fact that the ban on importation of rice and fairly used vehicles through the land borders, is still in force as his command is committed to enforcing this to the latter.


Source: Channels TV

Customs raid store in Ibadan, seize 9000 bags of rice

The Oyo/Osun Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service said its officers stormed a warehouse in Ibadan and made a seizure of 9000 bags of rice, valued at around N88.7m.

The Controller of the command, Tope Ogunkua, told journalists in Ibadan on Monday that the operation, which he said was recently concluded, was jointly carried out by the anti-smuggling team of the command and Federal Operations Unit in Zone A.

Ogunkua said one person was arrested during the operation.

He said, “A total of 9000 bags of smuggled imported rice with duty paid value of N88,776,000 were impounded and evacuated from a warehouse by the command anti-smuggling team in conjunction with the Federal Operations Unit of Zone A.”

Asked if the command was right to raid a warehouse and seized items found inside, Ogunkua said what the command did was backed by the law and that the option was sometimes avoided in order to minimise casualty in case of resistance by owners of the goods.

He said, “We are bound by the law to carry out our anti-smuggling duty anytime of the day and anywhere within our jurisdiction. Section 147 of the Customs and Excise Management Act of 1990 as reviewed said without prejudice to any other powers conferred by the act, where there is reasonable doubt to suspect that anything liable to forfeiture under the excise laws concealed in any building or place, any officer may without a warrant enter that building or place at any time whether by day or night, and search for, seize, detain or remove such thing.

“Sometimes when we do these things, people naturally resist and there could be shooting leading to the death of innocent people. When we, however, feel it is safe to do so, we use the option. We went to the warehouse in the evening and we were there throughout the night. One person was arrested and now on administrative bail.”

Ogunkua said last year, the command made more than N14.8bn, which represented 76 percent of its target, adding in 2017, the command was expected to make N20.6bn, out of which N1.5bn was realised in January.


GUARDIAN: Who owns the guns?

Ordinarily, the interception and seizure of a truckload of pump action rifles by operatives of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) should be a cause for cheers and commendation for the vigilance and alertness displayed by the officers at their duty post. However, amidst lingering terrorism, kidnapping, armed robbery and other criminal activities, impounding 661 smuggled dangerous weapons raises serious questions about the security of lives and property in the country.

According to reports, the consignment said to have originated from China through Turkey, was intercepted by a roving team of customs officers along the Mile 2 – Apapa Road, Lagos. Questions: Who is importing or smuggling in pump action rifles? What purpose did such a person seek to achieve by the importation? How did these rifles successfully find their way into the country without interception before now? Is it the case that there might have been some compromise with security operatives at the port of origin, ports of transit and port of destination? Instead of applause, this incident raises fear and apprehension.

Only six months ago, the United Nations raised alarm over the proliferation of illicit small arms and light weapons in West Africa. A report from one of its agencies, at the time, stated that Nigeria accounted for about 350 million of the 500 million small arms circulating in the region; that is, 70 per cent of illicit weapons circulating in the sub-region are domiciled in Nigeria.

Despite the efforts of the Customs personnel, there is still need to query this latest mode of operation. How, despite pre-inspection at the port of origin, did this consignment pass? Would it have been the case that there was collusion between officials at the port of origin and representatives of the importer? Nigerians are aware of the amount of money spent in acquiring hi-tech scanners for the ports, and as such officers can observe goods when being loaded, track them, and then stop its movement. Why wasn’t this the case until the consignment hit the street before it was apprehended?

Complex and highly networked as the illegal arms industry is, its dangerous proliferation in developing countries could be addressed through diplomatic means. Although the arms industry is sophisticated and run by the elite, such a sophisticated industry cannot exist outside the watch of national regulatory bodies and organisations. Those who run the business and organise the market are very well known people to the political authorities or state actors. In the same vein, the legal procedures for importation of arms as well as the means of circumventing the law are common knowledge to law enforcement agencies.

Notwithstanding this latest modest outing, there is the complaint of low quality intelligence at the Customs Service, no thanks to the character of some of its personnel. In the minds of the average Nigerian there is the misconception that the NCS is a financially self-enriching profession, where all-comers recommended by some godfathers can make a living. This is an indictment of an agency that occupies the nation’s ‘front desk’ position.

This unpleasant incident has exposed systemic gaps in our ports and border security system. That the interception became public knowledge might have well been a case of a deal gone awry. Whilst praises from Nigerians should encourage the officers of the NCS to be more relentless in tracking down illegal importation and smuggling of weapons and other contraband goods, and then handing culprits over to prosecuting authorities, there is also need to sanitise the Customs. The false idea that the NCS is an exclusive profession reserved for a section of the country, and the consequent politicking of the activities of the operatives should be adequately addressed. There is need for highly trained and competent officers to affect the quality of intelligence at the nation’s ports and borders. With this, even though there may be leakages, such leakages would be drastically reduced.

Whilst this newspaper commends both the prompt detention of incriminated officers and other elements in the arms drama and the immediate commencement of a probe, relevant authorities should carry out a census of arms in circulation and recover illegal ones. However, for lasting resolution, authorities must go beyond local measures and appeal to international forces. Being a signatory to the United Nations treaty on the non-proliferation of small arms, Nigeria has a moral duty to ensure that the distribution of small arms reduces to the barest minimum if not totally eradicated. Countries that share the same aspirations towards non-proliferation of small arms could also establish collaborative efforts to address this in the best possible ways.


Source: The Guardian

Protests in Sango as customs, soldiers break into rice market, seize food stuff.

For several hours, human and vehicular traffic along Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway was yesterday paralysed as rioting youths and rice sellers in Sango-Ota market protested against alleged invasion of the market by customs officials.

The protest, which led to the blockade of the main road before the bridge at Sango-Ota in Ado-Odo/Ota Local Council of Ogun State, was blamed on the customs officials who invaded the market in the early hours of Wednesday, broke into stalls and forcefully carted away bags of rice into their vehicles.

Angry traders and hoodlums barricaded the ever-busy expressway for more than nine hours. The rampage left many motorists and commuters stranded, while some made efforts to ply alternative routes.

The action got the traders angry and they immediately mobilised en masse to barricade the busy Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway, leaving motorists trapped in the ensuing confrontation between policemen and the traders. According to the customs, estimated value of duties payable on the items was N12,445,250.

Eyewitnesses reports claimed about four people were severely injured in the fracas, which saw hundreds of businesses grind to a halt in the area, but the customs insist there was no attack or any casualty recorded during the operation.

The aggrieved traders, who displayed placards containing several abusive inscriptions against the agency, alleged that the officers arrived the market in the early hours of yesterday and forcefully broke into shops and warehouses, carting away about 15 truckloads of rice, including money and personal belongings.

According to an eyewitness, the customs officers came in five Toyota Hilux fully armed and masked soldiers to carry out the operation.

A policeman was injured in the melee that followed the seizure. The unidentified policeman had attempted to remove the barricade in the middle of the road, when the irate youths stoned him repeatedly, resulting in a severe injury.

The injured policeman corked his gun and attempted to shoot at the crowd but he was prevailed upon by a senior police officer. It was gathered that the customs officers, who were accompanied by masked soldiers, shot repeatedly as they broke into over one hundred shops.

Some of the traders accused the customs officers of not only breaking into their shops to cart away bags of rice, but also made away with millions of naira, which were reportedly kept in some of the shops’ safe.

“This is very unfair. The customs came into the market at midnight and broke into our shops. We are not happy, and that is why you see people protesting. We will make sure that we resolve this issue with customs, because the harassment is getting too much,” she said.

Not even the intervention of the Area Commander of Police, Sango Command, Fayoade Adegoke, with heavy presence of policemen, and the pleas of the chairman, Ado Odo/Ota Local Council, Prince Oladele Adeniji, could calm the aggrieved traders, who parked trucks to block the expressway. Commuters were left stranded and forced to trek from Sango to the Tollgate end of the highway before they could get buses to their workplaces.

Spokesperson of the FOU of customs, Jerry Attah, told The Guardian that the officers did not break into the shops, but only packed nearly half of the bags of rice stacked outside in their thousands.

“After physical examination, we counted 1,870 50kg bags of different brands of foreign parboiled rice, and 43 kegs of 25 litres foreign vegetable oil. As at when they left there, there was no crossfire or any casualty. It was a peaceful operation,” he said.

On the stolen monies, Attah said “miscreants always take advantage of such scenario. It is possible that some people might have used the opportunity to break into the shops and steal their money. For us, no shop was broken or invaded.”


Source: The Guardian

Rise in cost of food blamed on extortion by Police, Army, Customs personnel at ports, checkpoints.

The Federal Government has blamed the rise in the cost of food prices on what he called extortionist practices of men of the Nigerian Police, Army, and Nigerian Customs Services at the nations various checkpoints and ports.

Members of the joint committee on Agriculture were stunned when the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh made the allegation
yesterday during a budget defence session at the National Assembly.

Ogbeh lamented that despite having written formally to the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, Comptroller General of Customs, Hameed Ali and other heads of security agencies over their officials’ fraudulent practices, the practice had not stopped.

According to him, the high cost of diesel, which now sells for N300 per litre is another factor responsible for the skyrocketing prices of food items, explaining that trucks and vehicles transporting farm produce are powered by diesel.

Ogheh further stated that other factors responsible for high prices of food items include the treaty on free movement of goods and services put in place by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) among member states, which he said gives room for movement of not less than 300,000 trucks of grains outside Nigeria on a daily basis, which the ministry cannot check.

The minister however, assured the committee that the Federal Government would soon ensure a reduction in prices of the food items via the committee set up to that effect, but expressed surprise that farmers were already kicking against the move.

According to him, farmers were angry with him over the move because they see the situation on ground as very favourable economically to them.

The minister said one of such farmers tackled him in Katsina recently, urging him not to tamper with the present price of food items by claiming that he made N4 million from the sales of sorghum, which had catapulted him from the realm of poverty to that of affluence.

Another farmer in Anambra state also claimed to have reaped N1 million profit from the sale of rice as a result of the current market price.

Nigeria Customs hands out seized items to IDPs.

The Nigeria Customs Service has handed over seized items, including food and clothes and toiletries, as relief materials to internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Adamawa state.

Presenting the items at a ceremony Thursday in Yola, the chairman of National Logistics Committee on Internally Displaced Persons, Abdulkadir Azarema, said the donation was the third so far to the state.

“Today, the National Logistics Committee on Distribution of Relief Items to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) is handing over items that we strongly believe will boost the ongoing efforts to resettle IDPs in their ancestral homes,” Mr. Azarema said.

He lauded the state government for footing the bills for transporting the items from the Service’s warehouses across the country.

“We also commend the efforts of Local Organizing Committee for collaborating with National Committee and the State Government to ensure smooth distribution of the relief materials.”

Mr. Azarema, an Assistant Controller General of Customs, tasked those involved in distributing the assistance to ensure transparency.

Speaking at the event, the Deputy Governor of the state, Martins Babale, who is also the chairman of Adamawa State Emergency Management Agency, lauded the gesture which he said would go a long way in assisting the IDPs.

Mr. Babale assured that the state government would use the materials for the purpose intended.

“I cannot wear customs uniform”, CG Hameed Ali tells Senate.

The senate committee on customs and excise duties on Thursday told Hameed Ali to wear the uniform of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to show his designation as comptroller-general (CG).

The committee had summoned Ali to explain the reason for the promotion and the sacking of officers without the approval of a board.

Speaking at the session,  Obinna Ogba, a senator from Ebonyi central, wondered why Ali would carry on the duties of CG in civilian attire.

“Mr CG, this committee will like to know the reason why you are still in mufti close to two years after your appointment as the comptroller-general of Nigeria Custom Service,” he asked.

In response, Ali explained that his reason for not wearing the uniform is because he is a retired army officer.

He said it was against military tradition for him to wear the uniform of another organisation.

His response irked Ogba, who said, “this is how you people keep deceiving Nigerians on wrong action and still defending it,” before exiting the session.

Also, Hope Uzodinma, chairman of the committee and senator from Imo west, faulted the decision of the customs boss to promote and fire officers without recourse to a board.

He said it was illegal of the CG to carry out such administrative assignments without a board in place.

But Ali blamed the ministry of finance for the delay in the constitution of a board for the NCS.

In response, Uzodinma assured him that the committee would send a letter to the ministry and other relevant bodies for the immediate constitution of the NCS board.

“You claimed that the minister of finance is the one delaying the composition of the board, this committee will write a letter straight away to the minister, secretary to the government of the federation and attorney general of federation to put the board in place without any further delay,” he said?.

“We are releasing you to go and sew your uniform while we continue with officials of ministry of finance and Central Bank? of Nigeria (CBN).”

UPDATE: 2 customs officers surrender, another declared wanted.

Abdullahi I and Odiba Haruna Inah, the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) officers declared wanted in connection with the importation of 661 pump-action rifles in Lagos, have reported to the authorities.


According the PUNCH, the wanted officers surrendered to the federal operations unit (FOU) of the NCS in Ikeja, Lagos, on Wednesday.


Quoting a source, the newspaper  said the officers were being interrogated.


“They have surrendered for arrest. They came today shortly after they were declared wanted,” the source reportedly said.


“While one came in the morning, the other surrendered around 4pm. They have been taken into custody and are currently undergoing interrogation.”


On Monday, officials of the NCS uncovered 49 boxes in a mark truck with registration number BUG 265 XG, in the Mile 2 Apapa Road axis of Lagos.




The weapons were concealed in the boxes.


Hameed Ali, comptroller-general of customs, had vowed that the officials who cleared the firearms would be dealt with in accordance with the law.


Subsequently, they were declared wanted.


Meanwhile, customs has also declared Yola Babakiri Ibrahim, another officer, wanted in connection with the rifles recovered.

UPDATE: Officers held as Customs seize 661 rifles in Lagos.

The Federal Operations Unit, Zone A of the Nigeria Customs Service, has intercepted a container loaded with 49 boxes of 661 pump-action rifles along the Mile 2 Apapa Road of Lagos State.

The 40-foot container, which was cleared at the Lagos port, was intercepted by Customs officials who were on patrol.

The officials were said to have discovered that although the manifest said the container had “steel doors and other merchandise goods,” boxes of the weapons were concealed deep in the container.

Our correspondent was told that the rifles, tagged, ‘JOJEFF made in Italy,’ could take up to 10 cartridges and could wreak a lot of havoc.

Other items found in the container were diapers, office cabinet, towels, mattresses, soft drinks, toiletries, among others.

The Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (retd.), during a press conference on Monday at the FOU, Zone A, Ikeja, said the container came from China but was routed through Turkey to “cause confusion.”

He explained that three suspects, Oscar Okafor (importer), Mahmud Hassan (clearing agent) and Sadique Mustapha (escort) had been arrested.

He said the suspects were undergoing interrogations at the agency’s office and would not be paraded until their culpability was established.

He said, “On Sunday, January 22, 2017, the roving team of the NCS, Federal Operations Unit, while on information patrol intercepted a Mack truck with number plate, BDG 265 XG, conveying one by the 40-foot container with a number: PONU/825914/3 along Mile 2 Apapa Road.

“The truck was immediately taken to the premises of FOU Zone A, Ikeja, where physical examination revealed 49 boxes containing a total of 661 pieces of pump action rifles concealed with steel doors and other merchandise goods. In the declaration of the items in the container, the importer concealed the weapons and declared them as still doors.

“These rifles are under absolute prohibition; therefore, their importation is illegal. The importation and transaction of pump-action are totally against the law of this nation.

“Such a deadly contravention of the law is even more unacceptable considering the fragile security situation in some parts of the country. We have kidnappers and armed robbers and there is an insurgency, it is more intense. There are also the cattle rustlers, who are also using the same weapon. So, they are deadly.”

Ali explained that investigations had commenced into how the truck escaped the vigilance of Customs officers at the port, adding that all officers involved in the clearance were in detention.

He noted that the importer, exporter, escort, officials of the agency and others, would be prosecuted at the end of investigations.

Ali called for vigilance among residents, saying it was important that people shared information with security agencies on the movement of suspicious items.

He said, “One of the important roles we play is the security of Nigerians. And the only way we can do this is to ensure that things like this don’t get into the country. Where they find their way in, we must ensure the importers don’t enjoy the illegality. This is why our men are all over the place.

“However, we need the assistance of the public because these things do happen. Imagine if this truck had escaped and had been offloaded by some people. They will be transferred and if we don’t get information, there is no way we can apprehend them. In the end, you and I will be affected by this. It could fall into the hand of an armed robber or a kidnapper and there will be a problem.

“This is why the security network of this country must involve everybody. We must ensure we give the prerequisite information. Without information, we won’t be able to do anything. This happened because we got information and our men acted promptly.”

Ali described the seizure as one of the biggest feats the agency had recorded in 2017, promising to reward the officials who carried out the operation.

While fielding questions from journalists, Ali admitted that there were problems with the nation’s scanners at the borders.

He said most of the scanners were faulty, adding that the agency was working towards resolving the problem.

He said, “We have problems with the scanners. Most of the scanners are not working. We realised that while a few of them can be repaired, the majority are bad. And I need not tell you that paucity of funds has been part of the problems. But you will start seeing changes as we are working hard to resolve the problem.”

UPDATE: Customs Intercept Container Carrying 661 Pieces of Pump Action Rifles.

The Federal Operations Unit (FOU) of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) intercepted 661 pieces of pump action rifles from China, concealed with steel doors and other merchandise goods, which came in through Lagos port.

The Comptroller-General of Customs, Retired Col. Hameed Alli, made the disclosure while briefing newsmen on Monday in Lagos.

Alli said that the Federal Operations Unit, while on patrol, intercepted a Mark truck with registration number BUG 265 XG conveying a 40ft container with number; PONU/825914/3 along Mile 2 Apapa Road, Lagos.

The comptroller-general said the truck was immediately taken to F.O.U. premises for physical examination and 49 boxes containing 661 pieces of pump action rifles concealed with steel doors were revealed.

Alli said the rifles were under absolute prohibition, adding that its importation was illegal.

“Such deadly contravention of the law is even more unacceptable considering the fragile security situation in some parts of the country.

“Already three suspects have been arrested in connection with this illegal importation,’’ NAN quotes the comptroller-general as saying.

The suspects are: Mr Oscan Okafor (an importer), Mr Mahmud Haruna (a clearing agent), Mr Sadique Mustapha (accompanying the consignment to its destination).

Alli said initially the consignment was said to have originated from Turkey, adding that there was mixed-up in the document which finally revealed that the consignment originated from China.

“Investigation has already commenced and I have directed that the drag net should be wide enough to fish out all persons involved in the importation and clearing of the consignment, ‘’ NAN quotes Alli as saying.

He said Customs officers who were involved in the clearance of the containers were in the custody of Comptroller Mahmud Haruna of FOU Zone “A’’

Alli said that the seizure underscored the determination of the service to enforce all laws relating to importation and exportation of goods into and out the country thereby contributing to the economy, security and well-being of the country.

The comptroller-general said that the seizure was commendable and represented the new normal rule in the service “where most officers and men are on a daily basis ensuring that illegalities are not allowed unchecked’’.

He commended the Comptroller in charge of F.O.U. and officers and men who were involved in the seizure.

Alli, however, urged the media as well as meaningful Nigerians to help the service with information that would assist the service perform its statutory responsibilities in the interest of Nigeria.

He said the seizure would be handed over to the appropriate authority.

BREAKING: Nigeria Customs Service intercepts huge cache of pump action rifles.

Information reaching Omojuwa.Com has it that Nigeria Customs Service has just intercepted a huge cache of pump action rifles concealed in a 40ft container at the Lagos Ports.


As at the moment of filing this report, it is still unclear who the importer of this consignment is and what the weapons are for. However, there may be no connection between this incident and the seizure of two military-type helicopters some days ago, reportedly ordered by the Rivers State Government under Rotimi Amaechi. The helicopters have since then been handed over to the Nigerian Airforce.


Omojuwa.Com awaits further information on the issue as men of the Nigerian Customs Service are already carrying out detailed investigation into the importation details of the consignment.


More details later…

Customs impounds 2 helicopters at Lagos airport

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has seized two helicopters and 23 consignments of accessories illegally imported into the country.

Dan Ugo, a deputy comptroller-general of customs, told reporters on Friday that the two helicopters and accessories, valued at N9.7 billion, were impounded at the Murtala Muhammad International Airport.

“The consignment was detained at SAHCOL cargo shed. Upon examination, the consignment was found to contain two civil models of Bell Helicopters 412 EP, with serial numbers 36608 and 36606,” he said.

“The consignment also contains 23 packages of accessories, weighing 11,475kg.”

He said the two helicopters and other accessories were seized because the importer could not provide end user certificate from the office of the national security adviser (NSA).

Ugo said the importer had contravened section 36 (2) of customs and excise management Act (CEMA), Law of Nigeria, 2004.

According to him, the consignment, which was impounded on November 7, 2016, had a duty paid value of N9, 757,135,240.86.

“This equipment was seized because the importer contravened the customs Act,” he said.

“The comptroller-general of customs, Retired Col. Hameed Ali, in appreciation of the roles of air force has directed that the equipment should be handed over to the Nigerian Air Force.

“When we make seizures, we go through legal process by approaching the court of competent jurisdiction to file for condemnation and forfeiture to the federal government of Nigeria, which had been done.

“This falls within the purview of the Nigerian Air Force which will put it to use maximally to protect us as a nation.”

He called for continuous synergy between the customs and other government agencies for the safety and security of the nation.

Ugo commended the customs officers who made the seizure and assured them of continued moral support from the customs service.

Hyacinth Eze, an air commodore, received the consignment on behalf of Sadiq Abubakar, the chief of air staff.

Vehicle importers shun Nigerian ports over ‘Undue bureaucracy’ – ANLCA

The Chairman of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Prince Olayiwola Shittu, has blamed the Nigeria Customs Service for why vehicle importers shun the nation’s ports.


“Tell Nigerians the truth,” Shittu said while reacting to the recent ban on vehicles importation through land borders in Asaba, Delta State at the weekend.He said importers avoid the nation’s ports because of undue bureaucracy in the operations of the customs.


Shittu stated that the poor condition of the nation’s ports and the disparity in freight charges on imports, which is very high, has made the seaports unattractive.Due to this, he said neighbouring countries are living on the nation’s economy by developing their ports and making them conducive for importers.

“Government and the customs should stop the bureaucracy in ports operations,” he stressed.He expressed disappointment that over 10,000 vehicles meant for Nigerian ports are now trapped at the borders with neighbouring countries because of the ban by the government.


Instead of the hasty decision, the customs service should advise the Federal Government to wait until modern facilities are provided in our ports, which would make them attractive to importers, he said.


Source: Guardian

Shakeup in the Nigerian Customs as 8 ACG`s, several DCG`s Redeployed.

Rtd  Col. Hameed  Ali,Comptroller-General of Customs on Tuesday approved the redeployment of 8 Assistant Comptrollers-General and several Deputy Comptrollers of Customs. checks reveal that the Assistant Comptrollers-General affected by redeployment, which takes immediate effect, includes:

•ACG Charles Edike from Zone A to Human Resource

Development (HRD)

• ACG Ahmed Mohammed from HRD to Zone B(Abuja, North central  and North West Nigeria)

• ACG Aminu Dangaladima from Zone B to Enforcement

• ACG Francis Dosumu from Enforcement to Zone D(North east Nigeria)

• ACG Augustine Chidi from Zone D to Excise, Free Trade

Zone and Industrial Incentives (Ex, FTZ, & I I)

• ACG Monday Abueh from Ex, FTZ, & I I to Zone A(Lagos and South West)

• ACG Umar Sanusi from HQ to Zone C(South South and South east)

• ACG Abdulkadir Azerema from Zone C to HQ

The redeployment of Deputy Comptrollers of Customs affected the Service Public Relations Officer, DC Wale Adeniyi, who is now posted to Apapa Customs Area Command, Lagos.

Meanwhile, the Comptroller-General reiterated Federal Government ban on importation of Rice and Vehicles through the land borders.

He  urged all Officers and Men of the Service to ensure maximum collection of revenue and strict implementation of the fiscal policy of Government.

Plastic Rice In Lagos Markets As Customs Awaits NAFDAC’s Investigation

The Nigeria Customs Service yesterday said it has sent the 102 bags of rice suspected to be plastic to the National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to carry out laboratory test on them.

It said the laboratory test from NAFDAC would determine their next line of action, but  found yesterday that the controversial rice has reached many Lagos markets and homes.

The Customs Public Relations Officer (PRO), Zone A, which comprises Lagos and Ogun states, Jerry Attah, said in a telephone chat that samples of the recovered rice had been sent to NAFDAC, the approved government regulatory agency responsible for such matters.

Attah, an Assistant Superintendent of Customs, said the impounded rice, named Best Tomato Rice and packed in 25kg bags, has no expiry date, no date of production and no indication of the producers.

Some of the rice had been distributed as Christmas gift by corporate organizations before the rice was discovered to be the much talked about plastic rice.

And investigations around major rice markets in Lagos revealed that several thousands of bags of Best Tomato rice are currently being sold.

At Alaba Rago, a popular deport for smuggled rice, is the presence of several bags of Best Tomato rice in 25 kg bags. The same were seen at Igbo-Elerin, and Agbara noted for re-bagged rice.

Operatives of the Nigeria Customs Service attached to the Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone A, Ikeja on Tuesday impounded about 102 bags of plastic rice meant for distribution within the metropolis.

The bags of rice were recovered from a hidden store located in Ikeja area of Lagos.

Credit: dailytrust


Customs Intercepts 102 Bags Of Plastic Rice

The Federal Operations Unit, Ikeja of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has seized 102 bags of plastic rice branded “Beat Tomato Rice’’ with no date of manufacture.
The Customs Area Controller of  F.O.U. Comptroller Mohammed Haruna,stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday in Lagos.
He said the commodity was stored for distribution as Yuletide gifts for the public.
Haruna said officers of the unit seized the plastic rice along Ikeja area on Monday, adding that a suspect was arrested in connection with the seizure.
“Before now, I thought it was a rumour that the plastic rice is all over the country but with this seizure, I have been totally convinced that such rice exists.
“We have done the preliminary analysis on the plastic rice. After boiling, it was sticky and only God knows what would have happened if people consumed it.
“I advise those economic saboteurs who see yuletide season as a peak period for nefarious acts to desist from such illegal business.
“The unit has decided other operational modalities that will make them run for their monies and count their losses, ‘’ NAN quotes the controller as saying.
He described smuggling as a global phenomenon, adding that such act could not be curbed entirely but could be brought to its barest minimum.
Haruna appreciated well-meaning Nigerians who provided the service with prompt information that led to the discovery of the bags of plastic rice.
The controller, however, advised the media to educate the public on the existence of plastic rice, adding that it was no longer a rumour.
Haruna assured the public that the distribution point of the particular plastic rice seized by the unit had been blocked with immediate effect.
He said investigation was still ongoing.
The controller said the unit would handover the plastic rice to the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) for proper investigation.


Customs intercepts 102 bags of plastic rice

Customs Intercepts Cache Of Smuggled Arms, Military Gadgets

The Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), Tin Can Islands Port Command has intercepted a cache of arms, ammunition and military gadgets, smuggled into the country from the United States.

The weapons, include one Omin American Tactical Rifle with serial no: AR48634; one Moasberg American Pump Action (U648081); Permier Hollow Point (air gun pallets) 7,500 pieces, nine pieces of military bullet proof vest, one piece of military helmet with rainproof, pistol punch, rifle punch and 26 packs of already made military food.

The dangerous weapons, according to the customs, were among the absolutely prohibited items by the Federal Government. Absolutely prohibited in customs terms means outright prohibition of import/export of items that are of high-risk to the public. They must not be found in custody of anyone, who is not authorised.

The Controller, Nigerian Customs, Tin Can Island Command, Yusuf Bashar, who paraded the items yesterday, said the weapons were recovered from a Toyota Corolla (2004 model) with chassis no 2D1BR32E54C309841, which was carrying loads of magazine.

The command also intercepted another container of used Nissan Armada, 2007 model, with container No. NSCEU718443\6 and Chassis No. 5NIAA08A69N709779.

The customs paraded the suspect involved, while the controller assured that investigations were on going to arrest other people involved in the deal.

He urged Nigerians going abroad to always bring back products that could boost national growth and development and not dangerous items that could undermine the security of the country.

“They should please come back with things that will add value to this country, rather than destroying it. These items were found in a personal effect container. A container that government graciously allowed in duty-free, because we believed the importer was a Nigerian coming back home.

You could see the way Nigerians responded to that gesture by bringing in these dangerous items. Only God knows what would have happened if this escaped into the larger society,” he said.

The controller said these types of gadgets and the gas masks showed that whoever brought them had an evil intention of spreading a dangerous gaseous substance to pollute the air and harm the citizenry.

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JUST IN: Tin-Can Port Customs intercept arms, ammunition from US.

The Tin-Can Island Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has intercepted arms and ammunition as well as military equipment hidden in two cars imported from U.S.

The Customs Area Comptroller of the command, Comptroller Yusuf Bashar, made the disclosure on Monday in Lagos.

“We got a hint that there is a magazine in a used Toyota car 2004 model with Chassis No 2T1BR32E54C309841.

“Customs officers isolated the vehicle to give it a thorough checking. We discovered 10 pieces of life rounds called Hornady ammunition with the magazine,’’ the controller said.

Bashar said that no suspect had yet been arrested because the seizures were just coming out of the vehicle.

He said that the seizures were isolated, adding that the command would conduct further investigation to discover the owner of the consignments.

“We will hand over the items to the Department of State Security (DSS) for custody of the ammunition because they are too dangerous to be with unauthorised persons,“ NAN quotes Bashar as saying.

The command also intercepted another container of used Nissan Armada , 2007 model, with container No- NSCEU718443\6 and Chassis No 5NIAA08A69N709779.

Bashar said that the vehicle contained one Omini American Tactical Riffle No AR48634 and another one Moasberg American Pump Action with No U648018.

He said that in addition to these two riffles, it was discovered on examination, in the same container, 3,500 pieces of Premier Hollow point (Air Gun Pellets), and 4,000 pieces of Premier Hollow point (Air gun pellets).

“We also discovered nine pieces of military bullets proof vests; one piece of helmet with rain proof, one pistol Punch, one Riffle Punch, a set of military gas masks, 26 packs of military already made foods and two pairs of military booths.

“This is why we called reporters to inform them because it is about reporting the nation’ security.

“We must do everything we can to safeguard Nigeria.

“ If an individual is given Nigerian passports to travel abroad, while coming back home, some come back with unauthorised consignments, which will cause pains and havoc to the citizens.

“ Instead of such persons bringing machines and other valuable things.

“These items were found in a container of personal effects which government graciously says you should not pay duties and now, can you perceive the way some Nigerians reciprocate the gesture? “ NAN quotes Bashar as saying.

The comptroller said that a suspect was arrested in connection with the consignments containing military ammunition, adding that Customs officers had intercepted the container since Nov. 29 and examined it in Nov. 30.

He said that investigation of the container was ongoing to get more details and that was why the news conference was delayed.

Bashar warned travelers who usually used the opportunity of personal effects to bring ammunition and unwanted items to desist, adding that it was endangering the society.

He advised Nigerians who had the opportunity to travel to always bring what would add value to the country.

“Nigerians should educate themselves more on newspapers and Customs portal on prohibited items “because every importer is a suspect’’.

“We urged the media to keep educating the citizens and whoever leaves under the protection of the entity called Nigeria to do everything to safeguard lives and properties in this country.

“These will be about the fifth interception of ammunitions since I resumed office in January 2016.

“We have discovered 900 pieces of live ammunitions, 200 pieces of cocaine worth N2 billion, which we handed over to appropriate agency because we believe in inter-agency collaboration.

“We have discovered some riffles with or without bullets, 300 pieces of military caps, some military camouflage and so many other equipment,“ Bashar told NAN.

Beware of Fake Auctions, Recruitment – Nigerian Customs Service Warns

The Nigeria Customs Service (NSC) has warned members of the public against falling to the antics of fraudsters who post fake auction advertisements purportedly by the service in the social media.

Mr Godwin Andishu , Public Relations Officer, Tin Can Island Port 2 Customs Command, Ijora, gave the warning in an interview in Lagos on Monday.

He said the warning became imperative because of the increasing complaints by Nigerians who had been duped by some unscrupulous elements through such advertisements.

Andishu explained that it was not the practice of customs to place auction advertisements of abandoned vehicles in its custody in the social media, urging the public to disregard such posts in their own interest. “We wish to tell the general public that those advertisements on social media purportedly by us calling for people to send money to purchase abandoned vehicles in our custody are misleading.

“We do not auction or sell vehicles online; those who are posing as customs officers are fraudsters who are out to defraud Nigerians of their hard-earned money.

“Nigerians should disregard such advertisements as the service only advertises items to be auctioned on its official website, detailing the procedures to follow by members of the public.

“The NSC does not operate any private account and no personnel of the service are authorized to collect money on its behalf into any account.

“The fraudsters are all over the place using the name of the customs to perpetrate their nefarious acts. People should act wisely by ignoring them,“ he said.

Andishu said the service had not had any auction since August 2015 on the directive of the Comptroller-General, Col. Hammed Ali. He added that the forensic unit of the service had been consistently tasked to fish out these dishonest elements and make them face the wrath of the law.

The spokesman said the unit had recently arrested 12 of such fraudsters and they were being investigated for appropriate actions.

Andishu also warned job seekers against falling to the antics of those who asked them for money for recruitment into the service, saying the service had no recruitment agent.

“We are a responsible organisation; we do not ask for money for employment,“ he said.

Smugglers kill 70 Customs officers in 2016 – Ali

The Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Col. Hameed Ali (rtd), has disclosed that the service has lost 70 officers to smugglers this year.

Ali said this when members of Rice Millers Association of Nigeria visited on Wednesday in Abuja.

He said the biggest problem Customs had was the issue of smuggling. According to him, rice smuggling is counterproductive to health, adding that the life span of rice is two years.

He said most of the smugglers re-bagged the rice and changed their life span to three to five years.

“The borders are porous and they are long. All the smugglers and rice millers are targeting December, and I can assure you that we have alerted all our men and also working with police, military and para-military to make sure that smuggling is reduced to the barest minimum.

“All we need from you is information, because it is key to what we do; we cannot achieve much without correct information.

“You (millers) have said that you have identified some routes; all we need is the correct information about this route to track these smugglers.

“I was in Benin Republic few months back to speak with Benin customs and identify areas of collaboration and see what can be done to make sure that the trade between us does not jeopardise Nigeria’s economy.

“The Benin economy is dependent on Nigeria and the only thriving business there is the port,” he said.

Ali urged rice millers to work effectively with Customs to complement the area of information.

According to him, “Customs will deploy every possible means to fight because most of these smugglers are highly technically organised.

Customs impounds 20 containers of vegetable oil over false declaration.

The Tin Can Island Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has uncovered 20 containers of groundnut oil said top be falsely declared as Disodium Phosphate.


Disclosing this to newsmen, Customs Area Controller of the Command, Comptroller Yusuf Bashar said a certain clearing agency named Patwed Investments Company presented 3 Single Goods Declarations (SGDs) with C-No. 102101, purporting to be having 7 containers of 7588pk of Disodium Phosphate, while another 7 and 6 containers had different pkgs of the same consignment – Disodium phosphate.


Speaking further, the Controller stated that upon 100 per cent examination with other relevant agencies, it was discovered that none of the containers had Disodium Phosphate other than 25kg kegs of Vegetable Oil.


Bashar maintained that his Command will stop at nothing in it’s resolve to ensure that 100 per cent examination is conducted on all cargoes so as to nip all manner of infractions in the bud in line with the change mantra of the federal government.


Speaking further, the Controller pointed out that painstaking investigation will be conducted to identify those behind the illicit act for prosecution.


On the legal implications, he explained that the importation contravenes the import regulations, particularly sections 46 & 47 of the Customs and Excise Management Act, CAP C 45 Laws of the Federation as amended.


He commended his team of officers for demonstrating due diligence and professionalism in the discharge of their official functions, vowing to deal decisively with non-compliant importers or their agents, while assuring those who are compliant with the extant laws of his readiness to ensure facilitation of their legitimate trade.

Ex-Customs Director General, Dikko, Returns N1bn Cash To The Federal Government.

A former Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Alhaji Abdullahi Dikko, has returned N1,040,000, 000 to the Federal Government, The PUNCH has learnt.

Dikko, who served as the head of customs between August 2009 and August 2015, became the subject of an EFCC investigation last year when the commission established that about N40bn was diverted from the coffers of the NCS under his watch.

The funds were allegedly drawn from proceeds of the seven per cent cost of collection and one per cent comprehensive import supervision scheme.

He was subsequently arrested by the EFCC in June this year but was released due to his poor health.

However, a reliable source within the EFCC told our correspondent that the suspect had been returning money to the government.

The source added, “So far, Dikko has returned over N1bn. He returned N1bn and then N4m. He is still expected to return more money.”

The EFCC had, earlier in the year, seized a mansion belonging to Dikko located at 1 Audu Ogbeh Street, Jabi, Abuja.

According to the EFCC, the mansion is worth at least N2bn.

Our correspondent, who visited the property, observed the inscription, ‘EFCC, Keep Off!’ painted all over the fence.

A source in the commission said, “The EFCC Act Section 71 (b) gives us the power to commence investigations into the property of any person if it appears to the EFCC that the person’s lifestyle and extent of properties are not justified by law.

“Section 28 says concerning those arrested under the Act, the Commission will immediately trace and attach all the assets and seizures of such a person which have been acquired.

“Section 29 permits the assets of a person arrested under Section 28 to be seized by the state.

“Dikko was a customs officer and served for about 30 years. He has to explain where he got the money to buy a mansion of N2bn.”

The ex-Customs CG is also believed to own properties in Dubai and in Katsina, his home state.

Ex-Customs Boss, Dikko, Returns N1bn Cash To FG

A former Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Alhaji Abdullahi Dikko, has returned N1,040,000, 000 to the Federal Government.

Dikko, who served as the head of customs between August, 2009 and August, 2015, became the subject of an EFCC investigation last year when the commission established that about N40bn was diverted from the coffers of the NCS under his watch.

The funds were allegedly drawn from proceeds of the seven per cent cost of collection and one per cent comprehensive import supervision scheme.

He was subsequently arrested by the EFCC in June this year but was released due to his poor health.

However, a reliable source within the EFCC told our correspondent that the suspect had been returning money to the government.

The source added, “So far, Dikko has returned over N1bn. He returned N1bn and then N4m. He is still expected to return more money.”

The EFCC had, earlier in the year, seized a mansion belonging to Dikko located at 1 Audu Ogbeh Street, Jabi, Abuja.

According to the EFCC, the mansion is worth at least N2bn.

Our correspondent, who visited the property, observed the inscription, ‘EFCC, Keep Off!’ painted all over the fence.

A source in the commission said, “The EFCC Act Section 71 (b) gives us the power to commence investigations into the property of any person if it appears to the EFCC that the person’s lifestyle and extent of properties are not justified by law.

“Section 28 says concerning those arrested under the Act, the commission will immediately trace and attach all the assets and seizures of such a person which have been acquired.

“Section 29 permits the assets of a person arrested under Section 28 to be seized by the state.

“Dikko was a customs officer and served for about 30 years. He has to explain where he got the money to buy a mansion of N2bn.”

The ex-Customs CG is also believed to own properties in Dubai and in Katsina, his home state.

Reps Uncover N640m Paid To 2 Unlicensed Brokers, Summon Customs CG

Barely a week after Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun accused the Nigerian Customs Services (NCS) of fraud in under-remitting of revenue, the House of Representatives Committee at the weekend summoned the Comptroller-General.

It was over the payment of N250million commission paid to an unlicensed broker.

The House ad-hoc committee investigating return on premium paid to government officials by insurance companies at the weekend uncovered the N640 million paid as commissions to the two unlicensed brokers by  insurance companies which provided service for some Ministries Department and Agencies (MDAs). The unlicensed brokers are Chrome Insurance  and Standard Insurance Consultant.

Speaking at the resumed hearing of the committee at the weekend, the Chairman, Hon Adekunle Akinlade,said documents presented to the committee revealed that Guinea Insurance, which provided cover for NCS paid N250 million as commission to Chrome between 2013 and 2015, while Staco Insurance, which provided cover to the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) paid N390million to Standard Insurance consultant as commission for 2014 and 2015.

When confronted, the Managing Director of Guinea Insurance, Isioma Okokuku, admitted that her company erred by doing business with Chrome Insurance, in contravention of the Insurance Act which bars insurance companies from engaging brokers that are not licensed by the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM). She said her0 company was moved by desperation to keep the Customs’ account.

On his part,  the Managing Director of Staco Insurance, Sakiru Oyefeso, who claimed to be a seasoned professional, said it was the duty of the regulatory agency to bring to the knowledge of his company the fact that Standard Insurance was not licensed at the time the transaction took place.

After being grilled by the committee, Oyefeso admitted that his company may have committed an infraction and pleaded for leniency.


CSNAC demands probe of Nigeria Customs

The Civil Society Network Against Corruption, CSNAC, has asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to urgently investigate the Nigerian Customs for alleged bribery, corruption and forgery.

In a petition forwarded to the anti-graft commission and signed by CSNAC’s chairman, Olanrewaju Suraju, the coalition said it is demanding a full scale investigation be launched into the activities of NCS in view of its alleged strong embrace of corruption, bribery and forgery.

Taking the cue of its petition from a special investigative report of the 31st of December, 2015, of an online newspaper, the Cable, the coalition said the news medium comprehensively reported how the Nigerian Custom Service (NCS) is a citadel of corruption, forgery and bribery.

“The undercover investigator rigorously dissected the degree of corruption activities that are perpetrated at every level of operations (ranging from importing to clearing) at Nigeria Port in Apapa, in particular.

“His findings revealed series of sharp practices involving men of the service, other borders and security agencies, the clearing agents, and banks leading to massive short-changing of government revenue.”

“He firstly revealed the study of inflow and outflow of articulated vehicles, the conduct of uniformed men, the transactional conversations of clearing agents and the touting drive of document forgers. Whereby, there is an entry of estimated average of 300 vehicles in an hour despite been informed it was a period of low business.

“He also revealed that Nnemi building’s (close to the port) entrance is populated by agents and forgers of documents (a place similar to Oluwole where there is hardly a document that cannot be forged); as observed influx of people, some entering empty-handed and exiting with sheets of printed paper while others coming in with a few sheets and leaving with stashes of documents.”

CSNAC noted further that the reporter revealed the incidence of corruption as he entered the NPA gate without a pass with three security officers but later paid a sum of N5,000 as bribe at mufti-wearing Customs officers post (representing the second checking point).

“He proceeded to another Customs Office where he learnt that bringing in cars cost one – third for the price of one. He stated that aforementioned scenario was the first real proof of the bribery and corruption accompanying the business of importation in Nigeria from the filling of Form M on, to the generation of Proforma Invoice (PI), Bill of lading, berthing of ships to final clearance by Customs.

“Instead of paying full Custom charges to the government, one can pay just one-third to Custom officials, and goods will be cleared. For instance if a charge amounts to N1million, N100,000 is paid to the government; out of the N900,000 balance, N300,000 is paid as bribe to Customs officers, goods are cleared.

“In other words, instead of paying N1million to the government, goods are cleared with just N400,000. It was also disclosed that Nigerian Customs is a “custom of exorbitant prices” and everything is expensive around the port ranging from stationeries to foods.”

CSNAC also stated in its petition that the report also exposed corruption perpetrated by the shipping line companies.

“Most shipping lines in Nigeria are owned by foreigners, as an import-dependent country; importers are left at the mercy of foreign-owned shipping lines. Once, a ship bearing goods berths, the shipping line immediately sends mail instructing that goods are cleared within three days. But it typically take four to seven days for containers to be moved from the ship to the block stacking, where all containers are first kept.

“A ship may have 1,000 containers making the last 50 containers not to arrive at the block stacking earlier than the fourth day. Yet, these containers are still on the ship when the three-day notice starts reading and consequently, the importers are charged for demurrage, whereby on a 20-foot container and 40-foot container, the importer pays N7,000 and N11,000 daily respectively. This practice is described as a very devilish ploy of exploiting Nigerians”.

“Furthermore, corruption by inspection was disclosed. Nigerian Custom services classifies incoming goods into four: green, blue, yellow and red (Green means the goods are well-trusted and therefore require no examination). But goods imported from suspicious countries e.g. Indonesia, where drug peddling is high are classified as ‘red’ and requiring physical examination.

“Hence importers not only pay Customs for physical examination of goods but also pay shipping agency for demurrage while awaiting the date of examination (shipping lines do not charge daily but upfront of minimum of four days). Invariably, importers have to pay Customs to come for physical examination early since thousands of containers await examination and NCS has somehow legitimized this corruption.

“Interestingly, former Comptroller General of the Service, Dikko Abdullahi, boasted of the service’s generation of a paltry monthly revenue of N29 billion whereas the service now realizes “between N90 billion and N100 billion on a monthly basis” after his departure.

“The Customs should be declaring nothing short of N500billion to N1trillion monthly, removing Custom officers’ deprivation of the government of N1million, N300,000 or N900,000 for a N50,000 bribe. Thus, this report affirmed that the business of importation and clearing as it currently operates in Nigeria is a huge turnoff for any serious or incorruptible businessman.”

Aside other issues raised in the report, CSNAC said that the report concluded that fighting corruption in the Nigeria Customs Service is not exactly about sacking the you-will-survive-I-will-survive officer or the N500-bribe-taking soldier, or the your-machine-is-undervalued bribe-seeking releasing officer. It is purely about enthroning a custom of institutional probity, about instituting a corruption-intolerant system as well as having technological revolution, rather sticking with the medicine-after-death approach of sacking
corrupt officers.

“CSNAC is therefore by this petition demanding that a full scale investigation be launched into the activities of NCS in view of its strong embrace of corruption, bribery and forgery, as well as, the prosecution of any of the other agencies found to be participating directly or indirectly in this acts of national sabotage.

“This will go a long way in serving as deterrent and will also send a strong message to would be economic saboteurs that Nigeria is no longer a haven for such criminal economic activities and that our economy will no longer be left at the mercy of corrupt officers,” the petition said.

Corruption: Tension Mounts as Customs set to prosecute 46 dismissed officers.

Palpable fear and tension have engulfed forty-six affected Senior officers of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) who were sacked last week by the board of the service for actions considered capable of compromising national economy and security. The dismissed will be prosecuted in the court of law.

The sacked officers were indicted for alleged involvement in shady physical examination and release of containers without proper documentation, payment of duties, illegal release of goods in advance before the arrival of vessels, collection of bribe to release prohibited items. Other offences are release of export prohibitions, fraudulent sale of seized items, use of fake certificates and bribery to secure auctioned goods.

The trial of the officers were sequel to the threat of the Comptroller-General of Customs Col. Hameed Ali (rtd) to jail any officers found to be corrupt in the service.

This was even as we obtained list of the forty-six Senior Customs officers sacked by the CG last week.

In an internal memo from the board of the service to the Comptroller-General of Customs, tagged: Forwarding Letters of Retirement, Termination, Dismissal, Exoneration, Warning and Upliftment in Rank with Reference number NCSB/ABJ/AP&D/S.D/VolXV/56 dated 13th October 2016, the affected officers with their service number include: Imam S.U, 39114; Balarabe S,38818; Maigar. M, 39183; Shuaibu I.J, 42732; Haruna K, 43002; Jimoh A.S, 40747; Hamidu H, 42236; Hamisu S.G, 36143; Anigwe M.E, 28160; Alfa Y.D, 41718; Abdulahi M.S, 38249; Sale A.S, 35929; Madaki J.M, 34642; Naramu’Azu Usman, 36441; Isah A, 36600; Bello A, 42504; Bello A.M, 39123; Abdullahi R, 38752; Sale H, 35738; Sani. B, 36223; Garba. H, 35717; Owunaka T, 36492.

Others are, Olorunhundo G.S, 50152; Mustapha M.T, 35477; Mbanefo P.C, 41225; Ekong N.A, 36863; Dahiru A, 32629; Azodoh A.C, 30611; Orukalama T, 33227; Mahdi A.Z, 36754; Kalama B, 50950; Duguri Z.I,36507; Daze P.D, 37618; Ohamobi C, 32241; Olajumoke O, 38620; Johnson D.H, 34492; Idris A.Z, 37083; Andrew A.A, 36698; Suleimon A.A, 43040 and Dan Ali M 41440.

Recall that the Comptroller General during his visits to various commands of the service threatened to discipline, dismiss and jail corrupt officers found guilty of corrupt practices.

He has also told the officers during his visit that he was deployed to reform the service.

Ali said that there was the need for officers to be of good conduct and show professionalism while carrying out their duties.

Ali said his administration would have zero tolerance for corruption, hence the need for officers and men of the service to shun all forms of corruption.

Customs generates N11 billion in nine months in Oyo.

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Oyo/Osun Command, said it had generated the sum of N11.1 billion between the months of January and September this year.

The Customs Area Controller, Temitope Ogunkua, who disclosed this while briefing reporters on the activities of the command, said 188 assorted seizures were made with a duty paid value of N368 million within the period under review.

Ogunkua, who assured of the command’s readiness to tackle economic saboteurs and work for the security well-being of the nation, said: “In the face of the challenging economic situation in the nation, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has stepped up its operation by blocking all revenue leakages in order to collect maximum duty accruable to the Federal Government.

“This has led to the arrest of various assorted, luxury vehicles smuggled into the country through unapproved border routes.

“It is disheartening to note that despite the arrest and seizure of about 10,000 bags of rice between the months of January to September 2016, the smugglers have continued their nefarious activities daring the Federal Government’s ban on importation of rice through the border areas.”

Customs dismisses 29 senior officers for bribery, forgery.

Less than a week after the management of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) sacked 17 junior officers for bribery, drug addiction, use of fake certificates and absence from duty, the Comptroller-General, Col. Hameed Ali, has approved the dismissal of 29 senior officers for various acts of gross misconduct.

The public relations officer of the service, Wale Adeniyi, said the affected officers are among 44 senior officers who were punished for actions capable of compromising national economy and security.

He stated that 10 other officers were retired from service, while the appointment of one officer was terminated.

He further stated that four officers were given written warnings to be of better conduct while another four officers who were investigated and tried for some offences were exonerated.

“Four of the officers who got the hammer were of the rank of deputy-comptroller of Customs, while five were Assistant-comptroller. Others were seven Chief Superintendents of Customs and four Superintendents, among others.

“comptroller-general of Customs, Col. Hammed Ali (retd) had made it clear upon his assumption of duties that the Service will not compromise on corruption and indiscipline among the officers corps.

In line with this, the structure and process for investigation of offences was strengthened to handle cases reported promptly and professionally.

“We will give all officers fair hearing in line with the principle of natural justice. We will however insist that sanctions be punitive, not only to match the offence committed, but to serve as deterrent to others”, the CGC remarked at Management meeting convened to consider the report of the Disciplinary Committee that investigated the cases.

Adeniyi disclosed in the statement that the process of dismissing the officers were based on the civil service rules.

“The process leading to the actions taken on the officers was painstaking in line with the Public Service Rules (PSR). All the officers were served with Queries indicating offences committed, before they made appearances before the Special Investigation Committee.

“The Committee’s recommendation was discussed and approved by the Customs Management. The recommendation was thereafter referred to the Presidency for ratification, in the absence of a substantive Board for the Nigeria Customs Service. All the officers affected in the exercise have been communicated accordingly.

“The Comptroller-General warned officers that punitive sanctions will continue to be used to discipline officers who refuse to embrace change.

“Officers affected in this exercise were investigated for involvement in improper examination and release of containers without proper documentation and payment of duties, illegal release of goods in advance before the arrival of vessels, collection of bribe to release prohibited items, release of export prohibitions, fraudulent sale of seized items, use of fake certificates and bribery to secure auctioned goods.”

Nigerian Customs Sacks 17 Officers For Drug Addiction

According to a statement signed by Wale Adeniyi, Public Relations Officer for the Comptroller-General of Customs,
Seventeen (17) Junior Officers of the Nigeria Customs Service have been dismissed from the Service for offences ranging from drug addiction, certificate forgery, theft and absence from duty from January to September 2016.

The statement revealed the following;

1. The appointment of two other Officers have been terminated for absence from duty while one Officer was retired for drug addiction.

2. Investigations into offences committed by the Officers in the senior category are now being concluded. Officers found guilty are expected to face similar stiff penalties.

3. These disciplinary measures were taken after series of investigations and deliberations by the disciplinary committee and recommendations were made to the Management.

4. This process is a continuation of the reform agenda the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd) promised upon his assumption of office which emphasized discipline, good conduct and transparency.

How $3bn Nigeria-Bound Rice Rots Away In Benin Republic

An estimated $3 billion bags of rice destined for the Nigerian markets are stuck in various warehouses in the Benin Republic due to the Federal Government’s refusal to allow importation through land borders and fierce customs anti-smuggling drive.

The annual routine of importing rice into the neighbouring country from July to December to make massive sales in Nigeria during Yuletide period has hit a brick wall this year as Controller-General of Customs, Colonel Hameed Ali has insisted that his men have tightened the frontiers.

Nigeria shares major border frontiers with the Benin Republic at Seme Border (Lagos), Idiroko (Ogun), Shaki (Oyo),Chikanda (Kwara) and other smaller openings. Prominent among them is Seme where the highest volume of trade and largest smuggling opportunity exist because of its easy access to Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital city.

Seme Border which hitherto was a major transit point for foreign rice importation suddenly became impenetrable for smugglers as almost daily seizures of 50kg bags have taken a good portion of the customs warehouse in the area.

A recent visit to Benin revealed that most of the warehouses where the bagged rice is kept before shipment into Nigeria are now battling for space.

Some consignments of imported rice no longer have storage space at the popular stores and so are exposed to rains, weevils and other unhygienic forms of storage.

Popular warehouses no longer receive rice shipments as thousands of bags earlier delivered to them since July could not be evacuated into Nigeria as planned as was the case in previous years.

Popular Cherika Warehouse in Akpakpa near Cotonou with a capacity to store 25,000 bags is fully loaded with Thailand rice with no hope of evacuating them into Nigeria except government relaxes its policy of rice importation through the border.

Defezi Warehouse close to the Cotonou Port is filled with over 40,000 units of 50kg bags of Indian and Thailand rice. Defezi got occupied earlier due to its proximity to the port but was not evacuated as the owners could not risk entering Nigeria with it.

Cica Warehouse in Missebo area of the Cotonou outskirts that suffered a lack of patronage in the past due to the distance from Seme Border and bad road presently has over 15,000 bags.

Some grains are getting moulded, caked with their bags torn and quantity reduced while endlessly awaiting shipment into Nigeria.

As hope of smuggling them into Nigeria gets slimmer by the day, there is a conscious effort to bring in the commodity without using bags.

The unwholesome method requires pouring grains of rice into various compartments of vehicles like the boots, bonnets, inner parts of the doors, under the seats and other spaces meant for spare tyres and tools.

Sources disclosed that the more the attempt to smuggle hundreds of bags into the country, the more customs in Seme and Idiroko make more seizures.

Unfortunately, some of these grains are no more safe for human consumption and so cannot be donated to Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) as was done in the past.

Over 37,000 bags of rice have so far been seized in Seme and Idiroko between January and September 2016 including the 13 vehicles laden with smuggled rice.

From the owners of the rice to the transporters, loaders, landlords and operators of warehouses, there is a general lull as it has been a season of stockpiling without transiting.

They expressed frustration at the government policy but more on what they described as Seme Customs lack of cooperation.

Nigerian Customs had in an October 2016 press statement reiterated government’s ban on rice importation through the borders. The statement signed by Wale Adeniyi, customs spokesman reinforced its resolve to protect government’s attempt to improve local rice capacity.

Part of it reads: ‘’We like to reiterate the position that importation of rice remains banned through our land borders, and we have the commitment to partner government agencies and stakeholders to enforce this restriction. While this restriction is in force, rice imports through the ports are still allowed subject to payment of extant charges.

‘’It is equally important to restate the confidence of the Nigerian Customs Service in the ability of Nigerian rice producers to fill the existing sufficiency gaps in the supply of the product. The service has noted with satisfaction the ongoing rice revolution undertaken by many state governments, and strategic interventions by the Federal Government agencies.’

‘’The service is convinced that the bumper harvests expected from these efforts will address the supply gap in 2017. It is our belief that continuous waste of scarce forex on a commodity that can be produced locally makes no economic sense, most especially during a period of recession. The service will, therefore, advocate a total ban on rice importation into Nigeria with effect from 2017’’

There are loud cries in Benin over what is going on at Seme and other borders. A respondent simply identified as Mr Sewanu said things have taken a turn for the worse as every attempt to bring rice into Nigeria has failed.

‘’You can see we are idle here because rice is not entering Nigeria through Seme Border. We can’t work. Each day we come here , it is in prayer that the customs should cooperate with our bosses so we can have jobs to do to survive.

‘’By this time in previous years, thousands of bags of rice had entered Nigeria from here and more ships had been discharging at the Cotonou Port. But this year is different, nothing is working.

‘’Seme customs have spoiled the business for us.We don’t want to take the risk of transporting rice through any other border because Lagos is the largest market. Once you enter through Seme,you are already in the market.

‘’If this continues, we may die of hunger. Benin customs in Krake cooperates with us but the customs in Nigeria are our only headache. We want the Controller removed. He is making things difficult,’’ Sewanu lamented.

A visit to the border shows smooth running and processing of imports into Nigeria and there are so many activities in the banks. People were seen paying customs duties for items not on Nigeria’s import prohibition list.

While the stockpiling of imported rice continues to increase in Cotonou and neighbouring towns, there may never be a market for them as they face the risk of either being expired or going bad due to poor storage condition.

The Benin Republic with an estimated population of 11 million persons and closest to Togo with a little above 8 million, there appears to be no market for the stocked rice as these countries lack the population and luxury to consume them.

Prices of rice which presently sells for between N11,000 and N13,000 in Cotonou is expected to crash ahead of the Yuletide period as they continually face difficulties in getting them into Nigeria.

Source :

Customs seizes 117, 034 bags of rice at borders

The Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (rtd), has disclosed that a total of 117, 034 (50kg) bags of rice have been seized at the nation’s land borders, at a duty paid value of N774, 282, by the Nigerian Customs Service within the first quarters of 2016.

Speaking yesterday at a joint press conference on illegal rice importation to Nigeria, Ali frowned that the increase in seizure had revealed several ingenious, but devilish ways of smuggling into the country, what Nigerians consume as food.

He pointed out some of the unhygienic ways in which these bags of rice are smuggled into the country.

“We have seen rice conveyed in open wooden canoes across our creeks and water ways with generous amount of dirty water splashing on them.

“We have seen some mixed with other grain bags to deceive Customs. Some are stuffed inside any available crevice and compartments of vehicles, including the engine area. The concealed rice is thereafter re-bagged, half cooked or otherwise and presented in our markets for sale as imported rice,” he said.

Hammed Ali, customs boss says rice smuggled into Nigeria can kill

The Comptroller-General of Customs, retired Col. Hameed Ali, says 99 per cent of rice smuggled through the land borders is not fit for human consumption.

Recall that Niger government, last week, announced subsidy on rice and other grains to encourage more local production
Ali said this at a joint news conference on illegal rice importation to Nigeria on Tuesday in Abuja.

He said samples of some of the rice seizures made over a period were referred to NAFDAC to ascertain their condition.

He said the test reports certified that smuggled rice through the borders was unfit for human consumption.

“Importation of rice into the country is not banned but restricted on the point of entry to seaports only.

Ali said that during his recent trip to Benin Republic to engage with colleagues in customs on effective management of the borders, some delegations from groups came giving commitments to pay all charges applicable if customs relaxed the policy on borders.

According to him, there has been a significant increase in seizures in the first three quarter of 2016.

He said 117,034 (50kg) bags of rice seizures had been made at a duty paid value of N774.2 million.

He said customs seizures had revealed several ingenious but devilish ways of smuggling into country what Nigerians consumed as food.

“We have seen rice conveyed in open wooden canoes across our creeks and water ways with generous amount of dirty waters splashing on them.

“We have seen some mixed with other grains bags to deceive customs; some are stuffed inside any available crevice and compartments of vehicles, including the engine area.

“The concealed rice is thereafter re-bagged half cooked and presented in our markets for sale as imported rice.

“Bags of rice meant for Nigerians’ consumption (are) being conveyed in coffins inside make shift ambulance vehicles.

“Often time, importers in the borders have to wait for months for the green light from corrupt customs officials before they gamble their ways across the borders.

“Rice being a perishable product, lose valuable shelve life in non conductive strong conditions.

“We have strong evidence linking some reputable importers to cases of re-bagging expired rice to prolong their shelve life,’’ he added.

He said that promoters of the economic subterfuge were seeking a re-introduction of quota system to import 1.5 million tonnes through the entry point

“We will be waiting for them.”

Ali said that many state governments had injected massive investments in local production of rice.

He added that the Federal Government, through the intervention by CBN and Bank of Industry, was also investing to give momentum to rice revolution.

Ali said Kebbi State Government, in 2016, harvested over 700,000 tonnes from irrigation farming while 800,000 tonnes were projected from rain-fed rice farming with similar projection from other states across the country.

He said that customs was inundated with periodic intelligence about ship loads of parboiled rice that offloaded regularly in the neighbouring port of Cotonou.

Ali added that Benin Republic did not eat parboiled rice, adding that the imports were ultimately destined for Nigeria by smuggling through the land borders

He said that with the support of patriotic Nigerians, “we will not only achieve national self-sufficiency of rice in 2017 but be in pole position to clamp a total ban on its importation in the years ahead”.

Court Strikes out Suit Challenging Buhari’s Appointment Of Hameed Ali as Customs Boss

Justice Muslim Sule Hassan of the Federal High Court in Lagos has struck out a suit filed by Lagos based lawyer Activist Ebun Olu Adegboruwa challenging the appointment of Col Hameed Ali (rtd.) as Comptroller General of the Nigeria Custom Service.

Adegboruwa in the suit filed in November 2015, prayed the court to determine if President Buhari can appoint anyone as comptroller general of customs without complying with section 3 of the Official Gazette of the Federal Republic of Nigeria made on 25th March 2002, wherein it was stipulated that only those within the rank of Deputy Comptroller General of Customs can be elevated as substantive Comptroller General.

Striking Adegboruwa’s case out, Justice Muslim Sule Hassan ruled that Adegboruwa lacked the locus standi to file the case because he is not a member of the custom service. He also held that the president by the virtue of section 5 of the 1999 constitution has the executive power to make appointment.

Justice Muslim Sule Hassan of the Federal High Court in Lagos has struck out a suit filed by Lagos

Customs rakes-in N35 billion in Apapa Command

The Apapa Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has sets new monthly revenue record of N34.923 billion in the month of August 2016.

The figure, according to a statement signed by the Customs Public Relations Officer, Apapa Command, Emmanuel Ekpa, is about N8 billion higher than the N27 billion collected in July.

Ekpa said the collection record is the highest monthly-generated revenue made by any customs command in the country in the last 10 years.

Meanwhile, the Command also made a seizure of 16 containers for false declaration. It noted that investigations are ongoing over the seized containers, and arrests have been made in preparation for prosecution.

This remarkable feat is coming at a time when the ports are said to be having low volume of trade and shipping companies reported to be leaving the country in the face of some trade restrictions and high exchange rate regime.

Customs Area Controller of the Command, Willy Egbudin, however enjoined officers of the Command to continually work to redouble their efforts in maximum revenue collection, speed in legitimate trade facilitation and uncompromising enforcement of all customs laws.

Egbudin had at a recent meeting with top officers of the Command emphasised that national security must not be compromised at the port and terminals under it in the course of trade facilitation and revenue collection.

The Customs boss attributed the recent increase to increased supervision, closer monitoring and regular outreach to importers and agents on the need to comply, while issuing demand notices for infractions like under-declaration when detected.

He said: ‘’The Comptroller General’s directives are very clear on matters affecting our duties. We must not in anyway act outside the law or encourage people to do so. Importers and agents who violate the law will face the full wrath of it and I can assure you all that I will not spare any Customs Officer collaborator. Any attempt to shortchange the government under my watch here will not be treated with kid gloves.”

100% Examination On Container Not Possible – Customs Boss

The Apapa Area 1 Command of the Nigeria Customs Service, has said that 100 percent examination on imported cargoes into the country was not possible.

This was disclosed by the ASYCUDA project manager, (APM) of the command, Yusuf Malata, at a monthly stakeholders’ meeting held at the command headquarters, Lagos.

Speaking earlier, the Customs area comptroller, Willy Egbudin, decried why most importers still falsely declare consignment despite campaign against it at the command.

“Most of the time we talk of transparency and honesty in cargo declaration I was thinking by now, we should have all been complying with it and if we are not complying then we are not doing our work.

“We should advise our individual importers to understand why it is necessary to declare what they are importing, it will be wrong for someone to declare tyre as raw materials and we know CEMA empowers us to make seizure of such items and for you to make seizure it is not a good thing,” he said.

Customs Seizes 25,000 Bags Of Rice

The Nigeria Customs  Service (NCS)  has intensified its war against smugglers with the seizure of  over 25,000 bags of rice, it was learnt.

The Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone ‘A’, Ikeja, it was gathered, has over 11,000 bags of the seized rice in its store; while its Tin-Can Island counterpart, Apapa,  impounded about 14,000 bags of illegally imported rice from China.

The market value of the item, it was gathered, is between N450 million and N500 million based on the market price of between N18,000 and N20,000 per 50kg bag.

A senior official of the Customs, who asked not to be named, said that over 11,000 bags of rice at the FOU, Ikeja, were seized at various locations within its zone.

The seizure, it was gathered, is in line with the resolve of the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali to checkmate smugglers at the ports and border stations.

Investigation around the Lagos ports and borders last week revealed that the Customs has moved against illegal importation of rice, illicit drugs, vegetable oil, textile, used clothes, confectionery, juices, used bags and other prohibited items.

It was gathered that the rate of smuggling of rice and some other goods from Benin Republic into the country through the borders, has reduced based on the directive from the CGC to all the Commands to increase foot patrol along bush paths, as well as raise the level of intelligence gathering by its officers.

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Customs seizes 25,000 bags of rice

Customs Generates N1.07bn In Seme

The Seme Command of Nigeria Customs Service on Monday said it generated N 1.07 billion revenue in February.

Controller for the command, Victor Dimka, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Seme.

Dimka said that the revenue for the period was N 172.6 million higher than N 899.8 million generated in the corresponding period in 2015.

“When I came to this command in January, one of the promises I made was that I would collect maximum revenue and suppress smuggling to its barest minimum.

“ I am glad we have started achieving that; the command generated N1,072,484,462.82 as revenue in the month of February.

“This is the first of its kind in the month of February since the creation of the command.

“We were able to achieve this in spite of the prevailing high exchange rate, the strike by the Nigerian Ports Authority and the Customs in the Republic of Benin and protest on implementation of unifying ex-factory price,’’ he said.

Dimka added that the command made 55 seizures with a Duty Paid Value (DVP) of N15.6 million and arrested six suspects during the period.

He attributed the achievement of the command to the commitment of the management team, stakeholders and the members of the community.

“It is easy to attain success, but not easy to maintain success, therefore all hands must be on deck to maintain and exceed the current record,’’ he said.

Credit: NAN

Customs Generates 1.07bn In Seme

The Seme Command of Nigeria Customs Service on Monday said it generated N 1.07 billion revenue in February.


Comptroller for the command, Victor Dimka, disclosed this  in Seme.


Dimka said that the revenue for the period was N 172.6 million higher than N 899.8 million generated in the corresponding period in 2015.


“When I came to this command in January, one of the promises I made was that I would collect maximum revenue and suppress smuggling to its barest minimum.

” I am glad we have started achieving that; the command generated N 1,072,484,462.82 as revenue in the month of February.

“This is the first of its kind in the month of February since the creation of the command.

“We were able to achieve this in spite of the prevailing high exchange rate, the strike by the Nigerian Ports Authority and the Customs in the Republic of Benin and protest on implementation of unifying ex-factory price,’’ he said.


Dimka added that the command made 55 seizures with a Duty Paid Value (DVP) of N15.6 million and arrested six suspects during the period.


He attributed the achievement of the command to the commitment of the management team, stakeholders and the members of the community.

“It is easy to attain success, but not easy to maintain success, therefore all hands must be on deck to maintain and exceed the current record,’’ he said.


Dimka urged Nigerians to desist from smuggling and embrace legitimate trade, saying that there was no room for smuggling in the area.

“We are determined to eliminate all loopholes and block all revenue leakages which would translate to more revenue generation for us,’’ he stated.



Oyo/Osun Customs Command Generates N14.59bn

The Oyo/Osun Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) generated N14.59 billion in 2015, as it prepared to build on its revenue generation and anti-smuggling activities.


The Customs Area Controller, Comptroller Tope Ogunkua, made the disclosure on Monday in Ibadan when the Customs Zonal Coordinator, Zone ‘A’, Mr Eporwei Edike, visited the command’s headquarters in Ibadan.


Ogunkua, who assumed duty on Jan.11, 2016, said that what was generated in 2015 fell short of the revenue target of N21.83 billion set for the command.


The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) quotes Ogunkua as saying that the command generated N15.20 billion in 2014.


The controller attributed the shortfall in revenue to election period, exchange rate and 41 items restricted from foreign exchange transaction by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in 2015.


NAN reports that the command generated N932.86 million in January 2016.


“Our command is basically more of enforcement than seizures. All officers of the command are focused; which gives me an assurance that we will meet up our expectations. We made giant strides in the area of duty payment on second-hand vehicles as a result of aggressive enlightenment campaign organised by the management of the service, ‘’ NAN quotes Ogunkua as saying.


He said that in 2015, the command intercepted 2,786 vehicles with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N294.36 million, adding that it also seized 1,625 vehicles in 2014 with a DPV of N163.64 million.


The controller said that the DPV on rice across the border between Nov. 2 and Dec. 31, 2015, was N191.08 million.


Ogunkua said that in all in 2015, the command seized 182 items with a DPV of N442.67 million.


He said that in January 2016, officers of the command intercepted two trucks and five cars conveying 1,165 bags of rice along Saki-Oyo road with a DPV of N10.54 million.


Ogunkua assured genuine rice importers that rice importation and duty payment through the border were still approved.


“All recalcitrant smugglers will have the arms of the law catch up with them soon,’’ the controller said.


He said that the current administration had zero tolerance for corruption and revenue leakages in all ramifications, adding that the area command was committed to enforcing same.


Responding, Edike urged officers of the command not to give excuse in 2016, adding that they should go back to their drawing board and re-strategise.


The zonal coordinator said that although the officers had challenges in 2015, they should not relent and generate every money due for government.


“If Customs could not meet up to expectations, government will not be happy with us. I know you focus more on enforcement but do not relent in generating money for government.

“I am calling for personal sacrifice,’’ he said.


Edike urged the officers to be mindful of national security, adding that they should not allow any illegal arms and ammunition to come into the country.


He advised them to top up their game to avoid smuggling of harmful items into the country. The zonal coordinator said that such items could affect numerous and innocent people in the country.


Edike urged the officers to support the Comptroller-General of Customs, Retired Col. Hammed Ali to achieve his mandate.




Customs Officials Jittery Over Assets Declaration Deadline

Following last weekend’s directive by the Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Hammed Alli that all senior officers should declare their assets within the next 14 days indications have emerged that palpable fear has gripped the affected senior officers.

The circular signed by the Comptroller-General and addressed to all Deputy Comptrollers-General (DCGs), Customs Area Controllers (CACs), Zonal Coordinators directing the officers to declare their asset was aimed at ensuring transparency and compliance with the rule of law.

 An officer who spoke on the condition of anonymity said that, the asset declaration exercise might be aimed at getting at officers who are perceived to have amassed wealth illegally but equally expressed apprehension that the exercise might be a futile one as smart officers won’t declare more than what their salaries could afford.

According to the CG, the assets’ declaration directive was in compliance with “the Bank Employees Declaration of Assets Act Cap B1 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004”, ?the circular said although the Act provides for asset declaration by all bank employees, it also empowers the president to extend its application to other categories of persons.

Credit: DailyTimes

Buhari Orders Customs To Distribute Seized Rice, Others To Displaced Persons

President Muhammudu Buhari has directed the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to transfer relief items in various customs warehouses to designated officials for onward distribution to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

The Service Public Relations Officer, Wale Adeniyi, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja yesterday.

According to Adeniyi, the Comptroller General has set up a national committee that would coordinate and manage the movement and the transfer of seized relief items to give effect to the president’s directive.
He said the relief items currently in government warehouses for distribution to the IDPs included goods that had been forfeited to the federal government.

“It is important to stress that these items are only those that have been condemned properly in the competent court of law and have been forfeited to the federal government.
“They include food items like rice, vegetable oil, spaghetti and essential items like soap, used clothing materials, mosquito nets, beddings and others,’’ he said.

Credit: Thisday

Seme Customs Gets New Area Controller

Comptroller Victor Dimka has been redeployed as the new Area Controller of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Seme Command, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.



NAN reports that Dimka, who has assumed duty at Seme, was prior to now, the Controller, Federal Operations Unit, (F.O.U.) Owerri, Imo.



He told the officers and men of the command that his intention was to consolidate on the achievements of his predecessor.



The controller said that he would intensify his efforts toward more revenue generation.



Dimka told a group of licensed customs agents who paid him a visit that he still needed time to study what was in the handover note but assured his guests that “Seme border command is a familiar terrain to him’’.



He urged officers and stakeholders to realise that the challenge of dwindling revenue from crude oil sales had made it imperative for maximum revenue to be collected by the Customs.



According to him, we have to shape up to collect maximum revenue and suppress smuggling to the barest minimum.



“My predecessor has done a great job and I intend to even do more.



“I am committed to suppressing smuggling activities across the international frontier and to ensure that the fight against smuggling of poultry products would be sustained.



“All hands must be on deck in dealing with the challenges of manning a peculiar international border like Seme which is characterised by heavy vehicular movement and human traffic.



“All officers must follow the policy thrust of the Comptroller-General of Customs while discharging their statutory responsibilities.


“We must also perform well in terms of revenue generation, anti-smuggling drive, legitimate trade facilitation and the security of the nation through the effective manning of the border,’’ Dimka said.



The comptroller urged all officers to imbibe the culture of transparency and professionalism while discharging their responsibilities.



He warned that any act of negative conduct among officers would not be tolerated.




66 Drug-Addicted Customs Officers To Be Sacked

Comptroller-General, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Col. Hameed Ali (retd), on Thursday said 66 officers found to be hooked on hard drugs would be eased out.
Ali disclosed this while addressing officers and men of the Plateau/Benue Area Command of the service in Jos.


“We are now operating zero tolerance on the issue of drugs, because it is very dangerous and inimical to our operations and to our success as a government revenue generating organ.


These 66 identified drug addicted personnel are as good as out of the system because we have no place for such persons in the service,’’ he said.

Ali blamed the existence of ‘’bad eggs’’ in the service on the recruitment system, which, he said, had to be changed to rid it of unscrupulous and unwanted persons.

He charged the officers to be disciplined in order to serve the nation well and gain their promotions.
According to Ali, promotions from now must be earned and not got.

He told the officers to display the fear of God in all their operations and to be diligent in attending all the courses lined up for them.

He expressed hope that the service would meet its 2015 revenue target of N944 billion before the end of the year.


“Presently, we have generated N825 billion but we have to double up so that we will not only meet the target but surpass it by God’s grace, ’’ he said.



House Of Reps Demands End To Customs’ Roadblocks

The House of Representatives has asked the Nigerian Customs Service to stop the practice of mounting road blocks in search of goods that have already been brought into the country.

After considering a motion of public importance raised by Temitope Olatoye, the House urged the Comptroller General of Customs to deploy more personnel to the borders to curtail the activities of smugglers.

The Nigerian Customs Service has also been encouraged to engage in continuous training and development programmes for its officers for optimal performance.

According to the lawmaker, there has been low generation of revenue by the Customs due to corruption and other factors, which he listed.

“Allowing contraband goods to be smuggled into Nigeria, failure to enforce the payment of requisite duties, poor accountability of the revenue generated and preferential treatment of high net-worth individuals are responsible for the low revenue generation of the service,” Honourable Olatoye said.

Credit: ChannelsTv

Customs Considers Reopening Borno Border Posts To Fight Arms Influx

The Comptroller-General of Customs, Hameed Ali, said the organisation would consider reopening the customs posts at Gamboru Ngala and Banki border posts in Borno State to fight arms influx and curtail insurgency.

Mr. Ali said this during his visit to defence formations, including the Defence Intelligence Agency and Nigerian Air Force and Nigeria Police on Thursday in Abuja.

The comptroller-general said for customs to achieve its target, it needed the support of the military, police and intelligence agencies.

Mr. Ali, a retired colonel, said smuggling of small arms and ammunition had to be prevented in view of the current insurgency in the country.

He said the essence of the visit was to further strengthen synergy between the police, intelligent agencies, service chiefs and customs, to have a safer country and a viable economy.

Mr. Ali said customs would consider reopening the border posts due to the request by the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai.

Credit: PremiumTimes

Customs Gets New Deputy Comptrollers General

The Nigeria customs Service has appointed six new Deputy Comptrollers of Customs (DCGs) and eight Assistant Comptrollers-General to replace some of the officers who retired last week, spokesman of the service, Wale Adeniyi has said.

The customs had announced last Friday that 34 of its officers had been retired including five DCGs in its restructuring and re-organization effort by the new Comptroller General Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd).

Earlier on Monday, the customs boss dismissed reports that he was planning to sack another 400 officers.

Credit: DailyTrust

Customs To Sack 400 More Officers – Report

Following the voluntary retirement of five Deputy Comptrollers-General of the Nigerian Customs Service, NCS, and 35 other officers last week, there are indications that another 400 officers will soon leave the service for various reasons ranging from corruption, insubordination, indiscipline to absenteeism.

Customs CG, Hameed Ali inspecting Guard of Honour at Customs Headquarter

Also, some of the officers pencilled down for next round of retirement were said to have flouted re-deployment directives as well as influenced their promotion even when they were not due to be

Vanguard gathered that some of these officers refused to report at their new postings and instead obtained notes from legislators, who lobbied customs management to stop such re-deployment.

Industry executives said the sudden retirement of Deputy Comptrollers–General appears unsettling as the development had brought public attention to happenings NCS.

Stakeholders believed that though the retirements will create room for Customs Comptrollers who have been idle for some sometime to be posted or deployed to commands, it would also give rise for Deputy Comptrollers to be promoted as some of them had been on same rank for a long time.

The alleged voluntary retirement of five Deputy Comptrollers-General is unprecedented in the history of the service.

The retirement letter read in part: “We, the under listed officers currently on the rank of Deputy Comptroller-General met today, October 29, and unanimously agreed to voluntarily retire from the service of the Nigerian Customs Service having risen to the privileged rank of Deputy Comptroller-General.

“We thank the President for giving us the opportunity to serve our great nation.”

Spokesman of the service, Mr. Adewale Adeniyi, a Deputy Comptroller, denied knowledge of any government reports on the affected officers.

When Vanguard contacted him he said: “I do not know what you are talking about.”

Custom Officer And Wife Arrested For Buying Twin Newborn Babies For N500,000

An officer of the Nigeria Customs Service simply identified as Azeez and his wife have been arrested by the Ogun State Police for allegedly buying a set of 4 day-old twin babies for N500,000 in the Sango Ota, Ogun state.
According to Punch Metro the couple were arrested by the Sango Police Division last Thursday and the babies have since been recovered from them and the couple  have been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department, Command headquarters in Eleweran, Abeokuta.

A police source said:

“The incident happened last Thursday. The police got a tip-off that the couple had gone to Ibadan, Oyo State, to buy twin babies for N500,000. We then moved in on them and discovered it was true.

The twins were just four days old on the day of the arrest. We have not seen the parents yet.

Azeez said in his statement that he and his wife already had a child together but they had tried to have a second child for 23 years and so they decided to purchase the twins. The suspect told the police that he paid N500, 000 for the babies.

The babies were with the police until Friday, when they were transferred to Abeokuta.

The suspects were taken to the anti-kidnapping section of the SCID. The parents of the babies haven’t shown up to claim them but the police said the babies are doing very fine.

The Ogun State Deputy Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Abimbola Oyeyemi, confirmed the arrest. He added that investigations were still ongoing.
He said:

“The arrest is true. The case has been transferred to the SCID, and it is being handled by the Anti-human trafficking department. The suspects are still undergoing investigation. During our investigations, we will get across to the parents and find out the circumstances that led to the disappearance of their babies.

We will also get across to the NCS authorities to show the level of complicity of their officer. I cannot disclose the suspect’s name, because we are still investigating. He was arrested with the wife.

Source: Punch 

Nigeria Customs Generates N777.2 Million In Seme

The Seme Command of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) on Tuesday said it generated N777.2 million revenue in August.

The spokesman for the command, Selechang Taupyen, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Seme that the revenue figure was N146 million higher than the N631 million generated in July.

“In the month of August, we generated much more than the previous month because trading activities were a bit higher.

“Since we are approaching the end of the year, our revenue generation would get higher and we will definitely meet up to the monthly target of N1.1 billion,’’ he said.

Taupyen disclosed that the command generated N9.6 billion in 2014, adding that the figure was N3.4 billion less than the N13 billion targeted for the year.

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Customs Destroy 1,583 Cartons Of Frozen Poultry Products, Vow To Cripple Smuggling

The Western Marine Command of the Nigeria Customs Service on Tuesday vowed to keep up the fight against smuggling of frozen poultry products, especially around Yekeme, near Badagry.

Controller in charge of the command, Yusuf Umar, said this while destroying 1,583 cartons of smuggled poultry products in Lagos.

He said the command had seized and destroyed 6,668 cartons of poultry products from July 7 to date when Operation Hawk Descend’ was established to fight the smuggling of the products.

Umar said customs would work to ensure that revenue leakages were plugged, just as it would work to protect the nation’s economy through its services.

He warned that smugglers must stop forthwith or be ready to face the wrath of the law.

“Those who engage in this act of smuggling of poultry products should desist, henceforth, because there is no hiding place for them as far as we are concerned…”

Read More: NAN

SON, CBN, Customs Integrate To Combat Substandard Goods

The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Central Bank of Nigeria, and the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) have commenced an online data sharing initiative to check the influx of substandard goods in the country.

The move, which would be implemented through SON’s e-certificate platform, would see the agencies collaborating and integrating SON’s e-certificate into the Nigeria Integrated Customs Information System (NICIS).

Under the arrangement, SON’s e-product certificate and SONCAP certificate will now be tied to the relevant processes for the generation of form M and generation of PAAR for clearance of goods at the port.

Read More: ngrguardiannews

Nigerian Customs Service Boss Resignation Letter Accepted By President Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has accepted the resignation of the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Alhaji Dikko Abdullahi.

With the acceptance, Abdullahi is expected to proceed on his voluntary retirement from Tuesday, August 18.

He had earlier written a letter dated August 3 to the President in which he notified Buhari of his desire to proceed on voluntary retirement from Tuesday.

Buhari’s approval of Abdullahi’s request was dated August 14 and personally signed by the President.

He thanked the NCS boss for his services to the county in the last six years.

The President’s letter was titled “Voluntary retirement from the Nigeria Customs Service.”

The approval read, “Dear, Alhaji D.I. Abdullahi. I write to acknowledge the receipt of your letter Ref. No. NCS/ADM/HQ/P. 35802 of 3rd August, 2015 conveying your decision to voluntarily retire from the Nigeria Customs Service with effect from Tuesday, 18th August, 2015.

“I note with appreciation your services to this nation, especially as the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service in the last six (6) years.

“Accordingly, I hereby approve your voluntary retirement from the Nigeria Customs Service with effect from 18th August 2015.

“I wish you the very best in your future endeavours.

“Yours sincerely, Muhammadu Buhari.”

Abdullahi had, in his letter to the President, thanked him for the confidence and trust reposed on him since he (Buhari) was inaugurated on May 29.

He said by August 18, he would be six years in office as the Comptroller-General of the NCS.

He recalled that on assumption of office, he articulated six-point agenda which he vigorously pursued.

He said the agenda had positively impacted on the efficiency and performance of officers of the service and had drastically changed the negative perception of the service.

He listed the six-point agenda to include capacity building, introduction of e-Customs, enhancing productivity through improved welfare package, moral rebirth for discipline and integrity in service, collaboration and partnering with stakeholders and international organisations, as well as  fostering understanding of the Service in the eye of the general public  using an intensified and a well-coordinated public relations platform.

The NCS boss said under his watch, the revenue collection into various coffers of government increased drastically.

He said the Service’s average monthly collection in 2009 when he took over was about N29billion, adding that the average monthly collection is currently between N90billion and N100billion.

He hinged his decision to embark on voluntary resignation on the need to allow young bloods to takeover the mantle of leadership of the Service in order to sustain and improve on his legacy.

Abdullahi concluded, “While thanking Your Excellency and indeed Nigerians for the opportunity to serve and contribute my quota to the development of our fatherland, I wish to seek approval of Your Excellency to be allowed to retire voluntarily on 18th August 2015.

“This decision is taken with a view to allowing young bloods takeover the mantle of leadership of the Service in order to sustain and improve on my legacy.”

The President has yet to name Abdullahi’s successor at the time of filing this report.