The Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) Kano/Jigawa Area Command has in five days, intercepted foreign rice and contraband goods worth N8.8 million.
The Command’s Area Comptroller, Nasir Ahmad, made this known while parading the seized goods to journalists on Monday in Kano.
He said the foreign rice and consignment of second-hand clothes were intercepted by its personnel at different locations within the operational jurisdiction of the command during the just concluded Sallah break.
The Area Comptroller decried activities of smugglers of rice and other contraband goods into Kano, saying the trend had crippled many local businesses in the commercial state.
He said, “It is unfortunate that activities of smugglers have crippled businesses in Kano. Smuggling of rice and drugs has destroyed our local businesses and unless we address the trend, we will continue to destroy ourselves.
“The NCS will continue to do our best to stop smuggling of rice and other contraband goods into Kano. Once, we stop illegal importation of rice into Kano, we address 30-40 per cent of smuggling problems in the state. We will do everything possible to stop smuggling in this area.
“We are not here to cripple lawful businesses, rather to discourage illegal businesses. We will visit any warehouse where foreign rice and other contraband goods are kept, evacuate the goods, arrest the owner of the warehouse and prosecute him.”
Ahmad urged traders in the two states to desist from any form of smuggling, vowing that the service would not take lightly with anybody found wanting in committing the offence.
“I am determined to stop smuggling of rice into Kano. We will not allow foreign rice into Nigeria. If we did not encourage our local businesses nobody can do it for us,” he said.