Years after it disappeared from the radar in the nation’s maritime industry, the controversial Importers Association of Nigeria (IMAN) appeared to have sprung back to life.
The Special Task Force unit of IMAN on illegal importations said it intercepted 10 containers of substandard goods, including contrabands, at Lagos seaports.
It added that, in addition, five warehouses where questionable importations were found were also sealed up in different parts of Lagos, between January and February 28, 2019.
Confirming the seizures and sealing of warehouses, the Chief Operating Officer of IMAN Special Task Force, South West Zone, Mr. Prosper Okolo alleged that the warehouses that were sealed were involved in questionable importation and production of fake and sub-standard products, he added that they are owned by foreigners, mostly Chinese.
He named them as: Megachem Nigeria Limited, Kevolinks Digital Limited, Kwikfit Nigeria Limited, Inomek Nigeria Limited and Bosac Nigeria Limited.
Giving further insight, he said: “IMAN Special Task Force on illegal importations through credible intelligence has recorded tremendous successes since it started its enforcement activities in the first two months of 2019”.
“We are pleased to announce to you that in the last two months a total of 10 containers of six by 20ft and four by 40ft containers with various infractions ranging from concealments, banned and smuggled goods imported into the country were intercepted in various parts of Lagos State by the task force.
“Aside from the concealments, some of them short paid the government to the tune of billions of Naira.”
“The task force has so far sealed five warehouses which were found to deal in importation of tyres, used clothings, unwholesome products among others without the required regulations and permits.
“Some of the affected warehouses which were found to have gone against the importation laws such as concealments of up to five small tyres into big ones to pay lesser duties. These acts the task force sees as not only economic sabotage, but also endangering the lives of Nigerians as these tyres though new, but have lost its value due to the way it was concealed and imported into the country.
“It is interesting to note that some of the warehouses visited by our team involved in these acts are owned by foreigners, mostly Chinese,” he added.
The group denied claims that it was selective in its approach to arresting offenders, insisting that it was not embarking on a witch-hunt.
“We want to reiterate that the IMAN Special Task Force is not out to witchhunt anybody or organizations, neither is it to challenge or rub shoulders with any agency of government, but to complement the efforts of the government agencies to rid our country of nefarious activities perpetrated by unpatriotic Nigerians and their foreign collaborators who deprived the country of not only required revenue, but also post danger to the health of Nigerians”, he added.