Customs Area Controller for Niger, Kwara and Kogi Mr Benjamin Binga, said the command generated N2.1 billion revenue from January to date.Binga disclosed this in Minna on Monday while briefing newsmen on the activities of smugglers in the area.
He said that the command’s revenue target for the year from the Federal Government was N2.8 billion.
He said the command impounded over 2000 bags of rice and 1, 500 25-litre vegetable oil, clothing and concealed items in the last three months.The controller said that N43 million worth of rice and vegetable oil, with duty value of N16.8 million were also confiscated during the period.
”These seizures were made in Bosso, Babana, Okuta, Bokoro and Chikanda borders of the command.
“The command also confiscated 16 vehicles with camouflage plate numbers just to beat being arrested.
“The owners tried to beat the Customs by trying to haulage it through the rail system, but we got privileged information and ambushed and arrested the owners and their smuggled rice,’’ he said.
Binga said that smuggling was a multi-faceted monster, adding that country could survive economically if smuggling was not allowed to thrive.
He promised to stem the menace in the command, saying that smuggling was no longer viable as officers of the command were out to fight them to a standstill.
Binga, however, said that the command was saddled with logistics problems and inadequate manpower.
“You can imagine three states in one command; it is not easy managing it without adequate working tools to combat the smugglers’ activities,” he said.