The Oyo/Osun Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) says it seized 7,951 items and generated N23.8 billion in seven months.
The Comptroller of Customs in the command, Abdullahi Zulkifli, disclosed this on Wednesday while briefing newsmen on the achievements of the last seven months.
The seized items included 6,067 (50kg) of foreign rice, 730 (25-litre) kegs of vegetable oil, 93 vehicles, 39 bales of secondhand clothing, 966 pieces of used tyres, 50 (50kg) bags of sugar and six bundles of textile materials.
Zulkifli said that the duty paid value of the seized items was N210.8million.
The comptroller also said that 35 suspects were arrested in connection with the seizures, with 30 given administrative bail and five charged to court.
He said that the N23.8 billion generated in the period under review surpassed the N22 billion generated in the same period last year.
Zulkifli expressed confidence that the command would surpass the N30 billion target given to the command for 2019.
He said that NCS would ensure that no stone was left unturned in combating smuggling and the challenges posed by smugglers.
” We will continue to intensify our intelligence and operational strategies in the course of suppressing smuggling and generating more revenue.
” The command on July 30 commissioned a customs outpost at Kishi community in Irepo LGA of Oyo State in a bid to combat smuggling in the area.
“Kishi community has long been perceived to engage in smuggling with impunity because of its hostility to officers of NCS,” Zulkifli said.
He called on Gov. Seyi Makinde of Oyo State to prevail on Kishi community to refrain from its hostility to Customs officials.
Zulkifli said that the NCS would continue to engage and educate the local and business communities on the security and economic implication of smuggling in the course of enforcing compliance with the government’s fiscal policy.