Customs Zone ‘A’ FOU intercepts fuel tanker carrying contraband poultry products
… Meets LCCI on anti-smuggling war
The number of cartons and duty paid value (DPV) of the seized products could not be ascertained as at press time.
Conducting journalists round this particular seizure, among others, at the Customs Warehouse in Ikeja, Lagos, the Customs Area Controller (CAC) of the Unit, Comptroller Mohammed Nuhu, who barely assumed office two days ago, stated that the interception of the poultry products was based on intelligence report.
“If you see a tanker that normally carries petroleum products, I don’t think any right-thinking person will think that there is anything hidden in that vehicle, apart from what it is supposed to carry; may be kerosene or (any other) petroleum product. The last thing that will come to your mind is something like chicken inside. That is what I mean when I said it is a spectacular seizure,” Nuhu stated.
He warned that, irrespective of the technique smugglers might employ to bring in prohibited items, they will always be intercepted, as, according to him, he has been mandated by the Customs Comptroller-General to ensure that smuggling of rice and poultry products in the South-West region are curtailed.
Meanwhile, in a meeting with members of the Agric and non-Oil Export Group of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Nuhu pledged to give them all necessary support, even as he solicited for their cooperation in ensuring that smuggling activities are reduced to the barest minimum.
“Statutorily, we are charged with the responsibility of ensuring that smuggling activities are curtailed, but Customs men are not magicians. No one person can do anything successfully in life. It requires cooperation and team work, that is why we need to partner together to stem this ugly tide. We want you to give us credible information, and we can give you 100 per cent assurance that we have been motivated and equipped to tackle whatever challenges that are associated with smuggling,” he said.
Responding, Chairman of the LCCI Group, Prince Wale Oyekoya, decried the rate at which poultry products are being imported into the country, despite the increasing number of seizures recorded by the Customs Zone ‘A’ FOU.
He blamed the situation on those Customs personnel he described as bad officers, who, according to him, have been denting the image of the Service by comprising their integrity.
“We still have a lot to do, because, when these things are being seized by your men, it’s like more keep coming in. When you seize one today, you will see another three the next day. It is like they are even doing it with impunity. If you go to Mile 12 and Ijora markets, they don’t even hide it anymore, and it is affecting the local production. We have so many bad elements that are giving Customs bad image. I have to let you know that about 85 per cent of poultry products are imported illegally, thereby killing the local farmers and affecting the nation’s economy,” he lamented.
While calling on the the Customs Zone ‘A’ FOU boss to fast-track the purchase of an incinerator to enable proper disposal of the seized products, Oyekoya advised the Unit to further enlighten members of the public on the health hazards of consuming imported poultry products.