The Western Marine Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) on Thursday said it impounded 941 bags of foreign per boiled rice valued at about N6.8 million.
According to the Controller of the command, Sarkin Kebbi at a news conference in Lagos, ”the impounded rice is valued at N6,830,719, a Duty valued N4, 781,503 and duty paid valued N11,612,322.”
The controller, who displayed the commodity, said the feat was achieved through a renewed resolve of the officers to stamp out smuggling.
Kebbi said that on resumption of duty a month ago, he made known to the officers the mandate given to him from the customs headquarters.
According to him, ”the service echelon handed me a stern order to ensure that smugglers were compelled to change their nefarious act to legitimate businesses.
“I will not fail in my mandate; I have never failed before and will not stay below the board.
“With motivation from the headquarters, I promise to make bigger seizures.
“We know that the rainy season is the time the smugglers always want to make use of the waterways as the roads are bad because of the rains.
“My officers and I promise them a tougher time within the nation’s waterways as all avenues will be explored to ensure that they are forced out of business,’’ Kebbi said.
He said that no arrest was made as the only man who was to be arrested in connection with the seizure jumped into the Badagry water and disappeared.
He advised the smugglers to desist from their act as a new ”sheriff” had taken over the saddle and therefore, no hiding place for smugglers.
Kebbi said that the Federal Government had been trying to make local rice available to the masses, thereby creating jobs in the agriculture sector.
He expressed regret that the activities of the smugglers were making the effort of the government fruitless