The Ogun Command of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) said on Thursday that it made a total of 1,830 seizures, valued at N2.4 billion between January 2020 and January 2021.
The Area Comptroller of the command, Mr Peter Kolo, disclosed this at a news conference held at Idi-Iroko.
Kolo said that the agency also generated about N66 million from the auction sale of seized petroleum products and perishable goods.
He listed the seized goods to include foreign parboiled rice, frozen poultry products, used clothings, dangerous drugs, petroleum products and perishable goods like tomatoes.
“It is worthy of note that the major source of revenue of the command from import/export has not been in operation since the closure of land borders by the Federal Government.
“The border closure has since lasted for more than one year and still remain so.
“Hence, the only source of revenue for the command, as of today, is fees collected from the auction sales of seized petroleum products and other perishable items,” he said.
Kolo attributed the achievements to the ‘recent strategies’ adopted by the command under his leadership.
He listed the strategies to include structural re-organisation of the command, aggressive engagement of stakeholders and deployment of intelligence in all the operations across the state.
Others, according to him, are improved motivation of officers by the NCS management as well as improved discipline and total dedication to duty by officers and men of the command.
Kolo, however, stated that the achievements were not made on a platter of gold.
“On several occasions, our officers, while performing their lawful duties, came under sustained harassments and attacks from dare-devil smugglers.
“We also had to contend with their supporters/sympathisers who often use pump action riffles, AK47 riffles, local charms and other dangerous weapons, adding that this sometimes resulted in casualties on either side or both.
“For instance, on Oct. 12, 2020, one officer, Solomon Alagye, was killed, while another, Taiwo Odeyemi, is still missing after an attack on his patrol team on Dec. 3, 2020 by these criminal gangs.
“We wish to reiterate that the sustained attacks on operatives of NCS and other sister agencies will not deter us from the continued performance of our legitimate duties in Ogun.
“The command will continue to dialogue, engage, sensitise and educate the public on the social and economic implications of smuggling,” he said.
The comptroller recalled that he recently paid courtesy visits to traditional rulers in the state to enlist their support in discouraging youths from smuggling activities and attacking NCS officers.
He noted that he had also visited some secondary schools, where he educated students on the dangers inherent in smuggling activities, while encouraging them to aim at making their future career in the service.
Kolo appealed to parents and guardians residing in border communities to prevail on their children, wards and youths to desist from smuggling and attack on security agencies.
He appreciated sister agencies, government establishments and community leaders for their collaboration with the NCS, while seeking for their continous support.
Kolo pledged to operate an open-door policy and allow easy access to his office in order to ensure efficiency and effectiveness in the implementation of Federal Government’s fiscal policies.