The Federal Operations Unit Zone ‘A’ is a critical arm of the Nigeria Customs Service entrusted with the responsibilities of suppressing smuggling as well as facilitation of legitimate trade in line with global best practices. This statutory role of the Unit requires strength of character, vision and competence of the operatives. The Unit is not under any illusion of the expectation of the Customs Management, hence the resilience and doggedness which have over the period become the modus operandi.

The Federal Operations Unit Zone ‘A’ as a hub and flagship of anti-smuggling continues to re-engineer its operational architecture in realization of the need for the actualization of its core mandate. It therefore suffices that the constant review and overhaul of our operational strategies to meet with the emerging challenges. It is pertinent to reiterate that smuggling, just like scavenging is a global menace which has been a thorn in the flesh of even the most developed nations. This is why we have taken up the gauntlet to ensure that no stone is left un-turn as we drive the process as a leading force in anti-smuggling operations. All these innovative steps have led to the success recorded between January – June, 2016.

Following the aggressive Anti-smuggling activities embarked upon by the Unit in its attempt to re-define its mandate for a paradigm shift, a total of Four hundred and Ninety Four (494) different Seizures of prohibited/offending goods were effected by the Unit during the period under reference. A breakdown of the report is as follows:

1)  RICE:  A total of Twenty two thousand, seven hundred and sixty three (22,763) bags of 50kg parboiled rice was intercepted; valued at One Hundred and Thirteen Million, Nine Hundred and Forty Thousand Naira (N113,940,000.00) Only with a payable duty of Thirty Four Million, One Hundred and Eighty Two Thousand Naira (N34,182,000.00) Only and a DPV of One Hundred and Forty Eight Million, One Hundred and Twenty Two Thousand Naira (N148,122,000.00) Only.

2)  POULTRY PRODUCTS: A total of Twenty nine thousand, six hundred and eighty four (29,684) cartons valued at One Hundred and Thirty Three Million, Five Hundred and Seventy Eight Thousand Naira (N133,578,000.00) Only with a payable duty of Twenty Six Million, Seven Hundred and Fifteen Thousand, Six Hundred Naira (N26,715,600.00) Only and a DPV of One Hundred and Sixty Million, Two Hundred and Ninety Three Thousand, Six Hundred Naira (N160,293,600.00) Only.

3)  VEHICLES: A total of fifty (50) vehicles was intercepted comprising Thirty eight (38) units of assorted vehicles and twelve (12) cut buses valued at Sixty Eight Million Naira (N68,000,000.00) Only, with a payable duty of  seventy Twenty Three Million, Eight Hundred Thousand Naira (N23,800,000.00) Only, and a DPV of Ninety One Million, Eight Hundred Thousand Naira (N91,800,000.00) Only.

4)  VEGETABLE OIL: Three thousand, one hundred and seventy four (3,174) J/CANS, two hundred and eighty six (286) cartons, one hundred and twenty (120) PCS of 10 liters and one thousand two hundred and fifty (1,250) empty J/CANS were also intercepted, valued at Twenty One Million, One Hundred and Ninety Six Thousand Naira (N21,196,000.00) Only with a payable duty of Seven Million, Three Hundred and Fifty Nine Thousand, Nine Hundred and Fifty Naira (N7,359,950.00) Only with a DPV of Twenty Eight Million, Five Hundred and Fifty Five Thousand, Nine Hundred and Fifty Naira (N28,555,950.00) Only.

5)  GENERAL MERCHANDISE: Assorted general merchandise including new and used textile materials, new and used shoes, vegetable oil, insecticide, wine, various types of spaghetti and noodles, soaps and detergents valued at Three Hundred and Sixty Five Million, Three Hundred and Forty Six Thousand, Six Hundred and Fifty Naira (N365,346,650.00) Only with a payable duty of Ninety Four Million, One Hundred and Ninety Four Thousand, Nine Hundred and Ninety Nine Naira (N94,194,990.00) Only with a DPV of Four Hundred and Fifty Nine Million, Five Hundred and Forty One Thousand, Six Hundred and Forty Nine Naira (N459,541,640.00) Only.

The Unit also apprehended one hundred and twenty six (126) suspects in connection with the Seizures during the same period. Generally speaking and in totality, the Unit recorded four hundred and ninety four (494) different remarkable Seizures as indicated above, valued at Seven Hundred and Two Million, Sixty Thousand, Six Hundred and Fifty  Naira (N702,060,650.00) Only with a payable duty of One Hundred and Eighty Six Million, Two Hundred and Fifty Two Thousand, Five Hundred and Forty Naira (N186,252,540.00) Only with a total DPV of Eight Hundred And Eighty Eight Million, Three Hundred And Thirteen Thousand, One Hundred And Ninety Naira (N888,313,190.00) Only.

Similarly, the Controller confirmed that over Three Hundred and Twelve Million, Eight Hundred and Seventy Thousand, Two Hundred and Ninety Five Naira (N312,870,295.00) Only, was recovered through the various interventions during the same period.
In addition, the Controller noted that some of the seized items contravened sections 46 & 47 of the Customs & Excise Management Act CAP C45 LFN 2004; which are on “FORFEITURE OF GOODS IMPROPERLY IMPORTED” AS WELL AS “PENALTY FOR IMPROPER IMPORTATION OF GOODS ETC”.
The Unit during the corresponding period of 2015, recorded one thousand and thirty (1,030) different Seizures with a Duty Paid Value of seven hundred and fifty eight million, two hundred and seventy one thousand, nine hundred and sixty nine naira (N758,271,969.00) only. Whereas the number of Seizures for 2015 appeared higher, the quality of Seizures between January – June, 2016 obviously accounted for the improved Duty Paid Value.
He disclosed further that “despite the harsh economic realities, the Unit was still able to demonstrate capacity in actualizing the set objectives of the Service, particularly in enforcing the fiscal policies of the Federal Government of Nigeria”.
The successes recorded by the Unit did not just happen, but was as a result of total commitment of officers/men of the Unit. These successes did not come without challenges and some of these challenges range from the hostility and volatility of some areas where we operate, nefarious activities of some fake informants as well as the role of misguided and unpatriotic elements who strongly believe that smuggling is their legitimate right. However, the Unit remains on top of its statutory functions and is making serious inroads/waves in ensuring seamless operations even in very volatile terrains.

The Unit maintains very cordial relationship with the critical stakeholders particularly the security Agencies, the Media and the various publics. We are gratified by the level of cooperation which our latest approach engendered towards achieving set goals.

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