…Ends tour, charges men to redouble efforts
The Assistant Controller General of Customs and Zonal Coordinator in charge of Zone A, Aminu Dahiru, has completed a tour of all formations under him with a charge to the officers and men to redouble their efforts in revenue collection, anti-smuggling operations, trade facilitation and self-development for improved productivity.
Dahiru said his zone, which comprises all customs formations in the South West is ready to intensify the fight against smuggling and duty evasion of any kind as no stone will be left unturned in the bid to ensure maximum collection of all money due to government through meticulous check on import documents and necessary double checks to avoid underpayments.
He said there will be no hiding place for evaders of customs duty who smuggle in vehicles for sale in car shops as operatives are out to ensure that such smuggled vehicles are tracked through intelligence and enforcement relying on the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) provisions for search without warrant where necessary.
He urged them to evoke the powers of Section 147 of the CEMA as amended to enter anywhere suspected of being used to warehouse smuggled goods and Section 157 to patrol anywhere in the country.
”We are always aware that commercial activities at the ports and borders increases during the end of the year. Be vigilant not only to make seizures but also to arrests those behind the crime. We dont have enough customs offenders in jails. This is one area we must improve” Dahiru said
While commending all the officers in the zone for their efforts, Dahiru reminded them that the management of the service is upholding the zero tolerance for corruption policy of the Controller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali.
He said the service will continue wielding the big stick against officers found to have compromised on their duties by engaging in acts of corruption
The service according to him, will reward hardwork as recently done with officers who made outstanding seizures while also increasing its priority on officers welfare.
According to him, Zone A, which accounts for over 70% of the service 2017 revenue target of N770,573,730,490 is strategic to the overall goal achievement of the service. As at the first week of the December, the service has already surpassed this target by over N10B.
He urged the officers and men not to get carried away by this feat as they can still do more for the service in the interest of the national economy and security.
At various border areas of Shaki (in Oyo) Idiroko (in Ogun) and Seme (in Lagos), Dahiru urged customs operatives to see themselves as partners with other government security agencies while urging them to continually educate their host communities about dangers of smuggling.
He directed reinvigorated border security to prevent smuggling of arms, ammunition, drugs and other items on the import prohibition list and specifically rice and vehicles that are banned from coming into the country through the land border.
He admonished the officers of the zone to regularly read wide as modern customs service is knowledge driven which requires reading, research and other self -development efforts for officers to keep abreast with modern trends.
At various meetings with importers and their agents, Dahiru read the riot the act saying that the full weight of the law will be brought to bear wherever or whenever they are caught on the wrong side of the law.
He told them to be confident all the time if they keep to the law by making sincere declaration, avoid concealment and underpayments while assuring that the service will continue to facilitate legitimate trade.
Dahiru’s tour which began with Ondo/Ekiti Command in Akure, terminated at the Kirikiri lighter terminal command after going through Oyo/Osun, Ogun, Seme, Murtala Muhammed Airport Command and Training College Ikeja.
Other areas visited during the tour include Federal Operations Unit Ikeja, Ikorodu Lighter Terminal, Apapa Command, Tin can Port Command, Lilypond Ijora, Western Marine Command, Customs Clinic and the Zone A Post Clearance Audit (PCA) Unit.