The Katsina State Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has intercepted eight (8) assorted vehicles and general goods with a duty paid value of ₦77,803,825 between September and October 2022.
The total duty paid value of the seized vehicles stands at ₦59,575,000.00 whereas, that of the general goods stands at ₦18,228,825.00 respectively.
The Customs Comptroller in charge of Katsina State Command, Dalha Wada Chedi, displayed some of the items seized by the Command within the period under review at the Command Headquarters, Katsina earlier on Monday.
He noted that from September 1st-30th 2022, the sum of ₦75,600,991.00 was collected whereas, from October 1st-31st 2022, the sum of ₦121,800,478.00 was collected, thus the difference of ₦46,199,487.00 with an increase of 61% recorded.
According to Chedi, the Command has recorded over N500 million from the day the Jibia border was re-opened, adding that, over N5 billion worth value of exported items have all passed through the Jibia border so far.
He noted that duties are collected on food items coming to Nigeria through the Jibia border such as beans, tiger nuts, dates, and groundnuts among other lawful items.
“We have the sample documents of those who have paid into the Federation Accounts on those products for you to verify. Any duty paid to Customs goes directly into the Federal Government Account called ‘TSA’.
“In our effort to facilitate trade, an agreement was reached with the Associations of Tiger Nuts and Palm Dates to issue their Union receipts to those that bought and load their goods from their markets to enable them present at any patrol checkpoints, they come across.
“So, the same agreement has been reached with the Associations of Beans, Groundnuts, and Sesame at Jibia, Dankama, Kaita, and Kagadama markets. You may wish to verify from them not the Groundnut Cake Retailer that was used to attract people’s sympathy.
“I assure the good people of Katsina State business community that we are professional and we will not relent in discharging our mandates, all those mischief makers should allow peace to reign or face prosecution when caught smuggling because we have intensified our strategies on arresting any smuggler.
“We are calling on those mischievous people to stop misleading the public or face the wrath of the law.
“The security heads in Katsina State have formed an ADHOC committee to go around the state to fish out all the bad eggs within the security agencies such as; illegal checkpoints, extortion, and use of camp boys in discharging official duties.
“You could remember for over a year now we have had a smooth Customs operations in Katsina; this is just a litmus test of our success.
“We are not unaware of this particular period we are in as the election is fast approaching and campaigns are on high momentum some politicians may try to
impress their voters through any means,” he said.
This is coming as residents of the state mostly importers and those living along the border communities reacted to a video that went viral with a narrative on alleged extortion by Customs officials from groundnuts and beans sellers along the Kaita-Dankama Road in Katsina State.
The residents believed that, Customs laws are very clear on import and export procedures and that they have a huge responsibility to block any illegal means of import and export.
Elsewhere, Mas’udu Badamasi, Nura Salisu, and Anas Salisu all of Dankama border towns in Katsina State import assorted food and non-food items from the Niger Republic. And they pledged to support the anti-smuggling campaign of the Nigeria Customs Service.
They unanimously described their relationship with Customs operatives as cordial since time immemorial.
On a visit to the Dankama border axis which is among the closed borders by the Federal Government on Tuesday, Channels Television observed that the border still remained closed with the movement of goods restricted.
It also observed that only the Jibia border is re-opened with every legitimate trader expected to import through the Jibia border alone.
The residents, however, urged the state government to lobby the Federal Government and other concerned authorities to open the Dankama border axis in order to enhance and facilitate trade thereby getting more revenue.