Smugglers lose N1.5bn to Customs in Ogun – Customs Comptroller
Comptroller of Nigeria Customs Service, Ahmadu Bello Shuaibu
Published By: Kazeem Ugbodaga
By Adejoke Adeleye, Ogun
The Comptroller of Nigeria Customs Service, Ahmadu Bello Shuaibu has revealed that smugglers in Ogun State lost over N1.5billion to the service in nine months.
The Comptroller who was represented by Charles Ogunesan made the revelation while speaking on the topic “Smuggling and Hoarding of Petroleum Products: Effects on Border Communities and National Security” at fifth annual symposium jointly organized by the command and Ipokia Local Government Youth Forum (IPYF).
He lamented that over the years the command had recorded series of horrible and unwanted experience in line with smuggling activities which resulted to the loss of many officers, while some are left with permanent disabilities.
He said it was high time all and sundry flayed the hydra-headed smuggling, given its inherent impediments to national development, as well as mitigating against the country’s well-being and posing threat to her security.
Citing an instance of recent seizures of cache of smuggled ammunition and other harmful substances like Cannabis Sativa, also known as Indian hemp, Shu’aibu said these were good examples of the threats of smuggling to “our social well-being and national security”.
“These experiences range from blocking of access roads by smugglers and their sympathizers, mob attacks of officers, either going in pursuit of information or conveying seized goods to the government warehouse, skirmishes to altercation, which often resulted to casualties”.
“Our dear communities had also lost many of their members to the evil of this unfortunate demon called smuggling.
“Smugglers in the axis lost One Billion, Five Hundred, Fourteen Million, Four Hundred and Seventy-eight Thousand, Nine Hundred and Sixteen Naira (N1, 514, 478, 916.00) to the command between January to date,” he said, adding that if such huge amount of money was expended on legitimate trade, it would improve the nation’s economy.
“Our core mandate in Ogun State is to generate revenue, suppress smuggling, facilitate legitimate trade and secure our border lines. Therefore, security and development of the country was the responsibility of everyone,” he said.
He, however, called for maximum support and cooperation of everyone in the fight against smuggling and urged them to join hands with the command to bring Zero tolerance to smuggling.