Illegal goods worth N16trn seized in 2023 – Customs

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The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) says it has seized illegal goods worth N16 trillion in 2023.

Addressing a press conference in Abuja on Wednesday, Bashir Adeniyi, comptroller-general of NCS, said the goods comprised arms and ammunition, artifacts and illicit drugs among other items.

Adeniyi said customs secured 52 convictions, some of which he added were related to illicit trade with wildlife.

“The NCS sustained its vigorous campaign against smuggling and illicit trade, culminating in 3,806 seizures with a Duty Paid Value totalling NGN 16,049,023,262,” the CG said.

“These confiscations encompassed a diverse array of contraband, including Arms and Ammunition, Artifacts and Antiquities, illicit drugs, expired food produce, and endangered species of flora and fauna.

“Remarkably, the NCS achieved 52 convictions, with 11 specifically linked to the illicit trade in Animal/Wildlife.

“Noteworthy is the international acknowledgment garnered for the Service’s efforts in combating this illicit trade in Animal/Wildlife.

“This steadfast commitment underscores the NCS’s dedication to protecting Nigerian
society, maintaining a resolute stance against smugglers, and diligently dismantling their operations.”

Adeniyi said the customs is committed to aligning its operations with the facets of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

“Nigeria’s pivotal leadership role is underscored by its distinction as the largest and most populous country in Africa, boasting a significant industrial presence,” he said.

“Notably, Lagos alone contributes substantially, accounting for 80% of
Africa’s Cultural Services export.

“The inception of the Guided Trade Initiative (GTI) on October 7, 2022, saw over 30 countries participating, with Customs assuming a leading role in the implementation of the AfCFTA.

“As the driving force behind AfCFTA execution, Customs holds a central position in shaping government trade policy.

“The NCS is resolutely committed to actively contributing and playing a pivotal role in aligning its operations with the dynamic facets of AfCFTA.”

The CG said customs would work towards ensuring that it achieves it N5 trillion revenue target.