The Western Marine Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) in Lagos has said smuggling activities on the nation’s waterways are at a minimum.
Comptroller of the Command, Comptroller Sarkin Kebbi made this known in Lagos on Wednesday in an interview with reporters.
Kebbi attributed the reduction to fresh strategies adopted by the Command, based on a tripartite arrangement that involves officers’ motivation, partnership with the coastal communities and liaising with sister agencies to bust smuggle syndicates.
He said, “The cooperation led to marked improvement in the anti-smuggling activities, leading to seven seizures of goods with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of over N26.9 million in the first quarter of this year.
“The service is still not resting on its oars; seizures will continue to take place as long as smugglers continue to take goods through the waterways illegally.”
Kebbi added that the Controller General of Customs, Hammed Ali (rtd) had also boosted their morale by creating different patrol teams code-named ‘Operation Total Blockage’ and the ‘CAC Headquarters Surveillance Team’. Both teams are said to patrol the waterways on a 24 hours basis, daily.
He said goods seized included 195 bales of second-hand clothing with DPV of N16 million, 170 kgs of vegetable oil and sugar of N2, 363, 946 DPV and 100 bags of foreign parboiled rice of 50 kgs each worth N1, 237, 469.01.
Others include 170 bags of foreign parboiled rice of 170 kg each of N2, 103,697.38 DPV, frozen products of N324, 000.00 and 200 bags of foreign parboiled rice of 50 kgs each of N2, 474,938 DPV.
The Western Marine Command operational area covers the whole of the Southwest and extends to the North West region of the country.
Its outstations are located in Idi – Iroko, Ijora, several creeks in Badagry, Yekeme, Bar Beach, Igbokodo and Yauri in Kebbi State.