Customs Area Controller, Federal Operations Unit, Zone C, Owerri, of the Nigeria Customs Service, Comptroller Victor Dimka has said that inadequate operational vehicles to patrol the creeks is a major challenge confronting the zone.
While speaking in Owerri recently, Dimka said there are a lot of creeks in Calabar, Yenogoa and Bayelsa through which contraband items are easily smuggled into the Nigerian market. He said the unit requires more operational vehicles to tackle the challenge.
He said, “This is because without that, these items can slip in without the knowledge of men and officers of the Zone. We need vehicles to police almost all the creeks so that they will not be able to come in with anything,” he said.
He also said that the failure of members of the public to always patronise genuine car dealers is another major challenge the zone is contending with.
“We are also having the challenge of ignorance. On many occasions, we advised anybody buying vehicles from Berger or from any car depot to obtain customs papers or clearance papers from the seller, that they must take such papers including serial number of such documents and confirm by going to any of the customs formation to find out if indeed such papers did pass through the customs for payment of duties.
“They will not do this and when we get them arrested, they will say I bought this one. It is not the responsibility of customs to be going out every day to be chasing the car dealers when we know the buyer can do it by bringing their papers to any customs formation across the country for confirmation,” he said.
He advised potential buyers of used vehicles to obtain genuine customs papers and confirm the authenticity of same from relevant customs commands before making payment to the seller.
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