The Strike Force unit of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) said it intercepted 564 bales of textiles materials falsely declared as machinery, foreign parboiled rice, foot wears and foreign bags worth N895million.
Speaking in Lagos on Wednesday while unveiling the seizure, the Coordinator of the Strike Force, Zone A, Ahmadu Bello Shuaibu, said the unit also raised Debit Note on falsely declared cargoes worth N490million.
According to him, the unit generated N1.42billion in the last four weeks from Debit Note and anti-smuggling activities.
Giving a breakdown of the seizure, Shuaibu said they include 1,252 bags of smuggled foreign rice, 564 bales of falsely declared Ankara materials, 637 bales of foot-wears and 30,256 pieces of foreign bags.
Shuaibu warned smugglers and fraudulent importers that the unit won’t allow them to turn the country into a dumping ground, stressing the need for importers to always make honest declarations.
“Importers and smugglers shouldn’t make Nigeria a dumping ground because these fabrics and footwears can be produced in Nigeria. We have textile industries employing huge number of Nigerians but if we keep on importing contraband how do we want them to remain in business?
“We have hide and skin factories all around the country. In Aba, we have young boys doing very well producing footwears, bags that the Nigerian Army patronised for their materials so why do we need to import or smuggle what we can produce locally.
“The message we are passing out is for people to have change of heart for the betterment of this country. Our industries are moribund, youths unemployed and the government needs money to carry out infrastructure upgrade and we need to contribute our quota to ensure that restiveness of our youths are reduced.
“Everybody should be nationalistic in thinking, patriotic in our actions so that we can defend and protect this country, contribute to the quality of the country so that Nigeria will be a better place for our children,” he said.
Shuaibu said the seized items will be forfeited to the federal government after it has been condemned by the court of competent jurisdiction.