NCS Seme Command nets N963 m in September, declares border area ‘unsafe’ for smugglers

CAC Willy Egbudin

The Seme Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) said it realised N963 million as revenue in the month of September, even as it declares the border area as ‘unsafe’ for smugglers.

Comptroller Willy Egbudin, who is in charge of the command, disclosed that the amount was the highest collected by the command between 2013 and September 2014.

He said the command had also intensified efforts in its fight against smuggling activities, ensuring a ‘no escape operational mode’ against violators.

“The command is deploying all personnel and available logistics to intensive vehicular and foot patrols along the border lines and all routes including non motorable areas,” he said.
Some seized bags of rice
According to him, the patrols and other anti-smuggling activities are paying off as unrepentant smugglers are fleeing the area.

''In line with my CGC's zero tolerance for smuggling, we are leaving no stone unturned in ensuring that Seme Border becomes and remains a no go area for perpetrators of smuggling and other unlawful activities.

“Seme will continue to be unsafe for them as we are increasing our intelligence on a daily basis on their movements, which we share with other commands to achieve the same goal.

 ''We will keep this tempo into and beyond the forth-coming yuletide season. Our close tie with the border communities under a reinforced Customs Community Relations Forum will be sustained as we are employing enlightenment and persuasion as tools for zero casualty in achieving our anti smuggling drive.

“We are happy that some traditional rulers, community chiefs, youth leaders and residents of border communities are cooperating with us in the effort to protect our national economy and ensure security of our people,'' he said.

The comptroller noted that as directed by the Comptroller-General of Customs,  Abdullahi Dikko, that all customs commands and formations join in the fight against Ebola, operatives of the command  were working with the basic anti-Ebola protective gears.

''We are in close liaison with the Port Health Service, other government and non- governmental bodies to sustain Nigeria's Ebola-free status. Aside the regular check of travelers and traders moving along our border route, we also ensure that our operatives adhere to all anti-Ebola directives.''

''Our vigilance against Ebola is premised on the fact that Seme Border is the busiest land frontier in West Africa with the highest movement of persons in and out of the evolving mega city of Lagos. We are not taking chances,'' Egbudin added.

He reiterated that the command’s functions of suppressing smuggling, collection of revenue and facilitation of legitimate trade will not be compromised.