The Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Operations Unit, Zone ‘A’, has disclosed the seizure of 23,000 bags of 50kg imported parboiled rice and that the importers owe the Federal Government N149.5m in import duty.
The Public Relations Officer of the command, Mr. Jerome Attah, stated this in a statement made available to our correspondent on Tuesday.
According to him, the bags of rice are under seal in an unnamed warehouse in Lagos awaiting the presentation of the relevant importation documents before further action can be taken.
Attah, who said the command generated over N1.3bn revenue between January and February this year, stated that Demand Notices of over N100m had been issued to two auto dealers/assemblers under Customs seal awaiting payment for infractions in their import transactions, while some were still undergoing court trials.
“Over 16x40ft containers under detention are on thorough investigation and appropriate Demand Notices will be raised and seizures effected where applicable,” he stated.
On the 1,870 bags of rice and vegetable oil seized from Sango Ota by its field operatives recently, which later led to protests by some traders, the NCS advised those who had genuine importation documents to come forward and claim the goods.
The statement quoted the Controller of the command, Comptroller Haruna Mamudu, as saying that its action was in conformity with the law of Nigeria, and enjoined well-meaning Nigerians to see smuggling as a crime and threat to national development and security.