The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has said that its recently launched anti-smuggling operation against illegal importation of frozen poultry products code named ‘Hawk Descend’ has recorded seizures worth N21.8 million within 2 weeks of its operation.
The operation had been flagged off in the South-Western flank of Nigeria’s borders to enforce the ban on imported frozen poultry products.
A statement issued by the Customs spokesman, Wale Adeniyi at the weekend said the seizures which consist of 6,206 cartons of the banned products, were recorded at villages around the borders in Idiroko, Badagry Creeks, Badagry Waterways, and Agbara in Lagos and Ogun States.
The seized cartons, he said were impounded by various commands of the Service. Federal Operations Unit – 1,636 cartons; Seme Command – 318 cartons; Ogun Command – 3,150 cartons and Western Marine Command1,102 cartons.
It would be recalled that the NCS anti-smuggling operation had in its first week recorded 1,803 seizures of frozen products worth over N12 million at various locations in the South West.
Reacting to media reports indicating a surge in the price of frozen poultry products in the local markets, Adeniyi said the Comptroller-General of Customs, Dikko Abdullahi commended his patrol teams for making life difficult for smugglers and their customers.
Adeniyi said the Customs Chief however maintained that higher cost for the product was not the intended objective of the operation.
“Our objective is to make the product unattractive to Nigerian consumers, turn it to a high risk product for smugglers and eventually cut off its supplies to our markets,”
He said the Comptroller-General advised cold room operators who stock smuggled frozen chicken to embrace other legitimate business before Customs operatives swoop on them.
Meanwhile, Operation Hawk Descend according to Adeniyi received a boost with the support of Customs Administration of Benin Republic during a recent bilateral meeting between Abdulahi and the Director-General of Benin Customs Administration, Charles Sezan.
The meeting he said was held to review joint border operations between the two countries and the Director-General had aligned with Nigeria position that smuggled frozen poultry products represents a drain on the economy of both countries.
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