Operatives of Nigeria Customs Service in Oyo/Osun Area Command on Tuesday said the command that consisted of Oyo and Osun states generated more than N5.8 billion between March and July this year. It said eight major smuggling suspects were arrested and remanded in custody.
Muhammed Bawa, controller, Oyo/Osun Customs Area Command, who spoke in Ibadan, Oyo State capital, Tuesday, noted that the Area Command was able to achieve such revenue due to renewed strategy of the command on smuggling activities and desire to plug economic leakages.
He said though a total sum of N102,587,134 was realised in vehicle import duty during the period, a vastly improved revenue was recorded from the British American Tobacco, Nigeria Breweries plc, Ibadan, and International Breweries, Ilesa in Osun State.
“We have a total of 91 detentions investigated and 92 seizures with eight suspects taken into custody already within the period under review. The Duty Paid Value of the seizures is N218,549,552.
“The command has generated the sum of N5,898,773,058 between March and July, 2015. Vehicle owners are now coming to pay duty to make peace with the government to the extent that this source is becoming a noticeable duty platform,” he said.
Bawa, who assumed duty on March 25, this year, stated that due to the large concentration of poultry farms in Oyo State, the Command activities had been centred on the enforcement of Federal Government ban on the imports of poultry products as the Command had established a special squad named Hawk Descend to fight and put the foreign poultry products imports under check.
“The latest in the series of such seizures is 120 cartons of imported poultry products that was destroyed Tuesday evening in the presence of appropriate stakeholders. Beyond all these, however, the Command has created a modern crèche for nursing mothers in the Command to increase their confidence in the safety of their babies so that they can put in their best at work,” he said.
He pledged that the interest of local farmers would be protected by his Command while efforts at keeping smugglers out of business would be sustained, adding that suspects caught in illegal business of smuggling would be dealt with according to the law.