The Comptroller-General of Customs, Hameed Ali, on Wednesday said the Port Harcourt Area 2 Command, Onne Port, Rivers State, has intercepted a batch of expired rice and other contraband valued at N1.7 billion.
Among the items seized are 20 container of tomatoe pastes with a total Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N272,261,026.69; 10 containers of vegetable Oil with DPV of N58,380,528.00; 34 containers of roofing tiles amounted to the sum of N505,687,096.00; 11 containers of expired rice totaling the sum of N102,352,800.00; 1 container of machetes with a total DPV of N36,347,786.00; 9 containers of expired vegetable oil and jam worth the sum of N117,614,232.00; 1 container of expired baby wipes with a total DPV of N9,041,714.00 and 1 container of scrap metal amounting to the sum of N6,043,780.00.
It has recorded a total seizure of 87 containers with Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N1, 107,728, 944.69.
He said the seizure has been in furtherance to prevent the importation of harmful and prohibited items into the country, and were all in line with the provisions of the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) CAP C45 LFN 2004, Sections 46 and 161.
Alli told reporters that the ongoing partial closure of land borders across the country has increased smugglers activities who now use the seaports.
“Let me reiterate our concern and determination to do all it takes to protect the wellbeing and safety of all citizens and residents by preventing the devastating effect of these hazardous importation and smuggled items. They endanger our lives as Nigerians hence will not be allowed to find their ways into the markets.
“As a responsible Agency, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) will not disappoint on its mandate of enforcing compliance by maintaining zero tolerance to smuggling activities, irrespective of whoever is involved and under whatever circumstance.
“Let me assure you that a thorough investigation will be conducted with a view to bringing all connected to justice.
“We shall continue to apply stringent sanctions on any act capable of compromising our efforts towards achieving better efficiency in the discharge of our mandate.”
The comptroller-general commended the Area II Command, Onne Port for its effort to curb smuggled and harmful items as well as its revenue collection of N89,754,878,264.18 since January.