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By Timothy Paul Okorocha 

CGC Adewale Adeniyi, MF

The Area Controller of Ogun 1 command, Idiroko and the officers are not resting on their oars as they have intensified the anti-smuggling operations as well as revenue generation. Though, it is majorly an anti smuggling command, it is however posting huge revenue into federal government coffers.

In a briefing, Compt James Ojo disclosed that no less than N92,369,227.00 was generated by the command in the second quarter of this year.  He said their collective efforts and unwavering dedication was responsible for the unique feat.

The Controller is delighted to announce that through our concerted efforts and strategic operations, the Ogun I Area Command has generated an impressive revenue of N92,369,227.00 for the second quarter of 2024. Interestingly, this revenue represents about a 52.46% increase compared to the N53,983,622.00 recorded in the corresponding period of 2023. In addition, the Command surpassed the monthly revenue target of N34,122,666.90 in June 2024 by 77.86%.

This achievement is a testament to the diligence, commitment, and professionalism of our officers and men who have worked tirelessly to ensure that we meet and exceed our revenue targets. It is also indicative of our unwavering commitment to the economic growth and development of our dear nation.

This success aligns perfectly with the policy thrust of our Comptroller General
of Customs (CGC), Bashir Adeniyi MFR dsm fnipr fniia psc(+), who has
championed the principles of consolidation, collaboration, and innovation. His visionary leadership and enabling support have been crucial in enhancing our capabilities and driving these impressive results.

In addition to revenue generation success, he said the enforcement activities have
led to significant interceptions of prohibited goods. In recent operations, we successfully intercepted 219 sacks and 1,725 parcels of cannabis sativa, 940 rounds of live ammunition, 44,466 liters of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), 2,227 pieces of pneumatic foreign-used tires, and 64 bales and 222 sacks of used clothes. Other
interceptions include 2,947 cartons of frozen poultry products, 7,015 bags of foreign parboiled rice, 21 units of vehicles, 3 units of motorcycles, and 115 pairs of used shoes with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N770,666,237.00.

These seizures are not just numbers; they represent our relentless fight against smuggling and our determination to protect the local economy, ensure public health and safety, and uphold the integrity of our borders.

He Recalled that during my maiden press briefing held on 9 May 2024, highlighted
the adverse effects of smuggled cannabis sativa and foreign-used pneumatic tires on
the citizenry, and these include the following:


a. Cannabis sativa, commonly known as marijuana or Indian hemp, is a
psychoactive drug derived from the cannabis plant. It has a devastating effect on the lives of its consumers, especially our youths. The rise in its abuse is of
great concern within Nigerian society and a threat to our national security, due to its potential influence on criminal activities, such as armed robbery, banditry, cultism, kidnapping, terrorism, and other criminal activities.

b. Foreign-used Pneumatic Tires, more commonly known as Tokunbo tires, are ring-shaped protective coverings made of rubber and filled with compressed air, typically used in foreign countries and shipped into the country after use overseas. These tires are deemed unsuitable for our highways because a significant number of them have exceeded their recommended lifespan from their manufacturing dates.

According to safety experts, good quality pneumatic tires are safe for use for only four years from the date of manufacturing. Any usage beyond this duration poses a significant risk to motorists and puts their lives in jeopardy.

He stated that in addition to the above highlights, it is pertinent to also state the health implications of consuming smuggled frozen poultry products.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the health implications of consuming frozen poultry products preserved with chemicals and smuggled into Nigeria from the Republic of Benin can be severe and multifaceted. Here are some potential health risks:

a. Chemical Contamination. Smuggled poultry often lacks proper regulatory oversight, increasing the risk of harmful chemicals being used for preservation. These chemicals, which can include formaldehyde and other preservatives, can be toxic if ingested, potentially causing acute and chronic health issues, including poisoning, cancer, and organ damage.

b. Foodborne Illnesses. The lack of proper hygiene and temperature control during smuggling can lead to the proliferation of harmful bacteria such as Salmonella, E.coli, and Listeria. Consuming contaminated poultry can cause foodborne illnesses, leading to symptoms like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and in severe cases, hospitalization or even death.

c. Antibiotic Resistance. Poultry smuggled from regions with poor regulatory controls may have been treated with antibiotics not approved for use in food animals. This can contribute to the development and spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, posing a significant public health threat as
infections become harder to treat.

d. Nutritional Deficiencies. Smuggled poultry products may not meet the nutritional standards required for healthy consumption. Poor handling and
preservation techniques can degrade the nutritional quality of the meat, leading to potential deficiencies when consumed regularly.

e. Allergic Reactions. The use of unknown or banned chemicals in preserving smuggled poultry can trigger allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Symptoms can range from mild skin irritations to severe anaphylactic reactions, which require immediate medical attention.

f. Public Health Risks. The consumption of unsafe, smuggled poultry products can strain public health systems due to increased incidences of foodborne illnesses and other health complications. This can lead to higher healthcare costs and resource allocation challenges.

According to him, the interception of these prohibited items is a clear indication of the
effectiveness of our intelligence-driven approach and the robust strategies we have put in place. This aligns with the Comptroller General’s emphasis on innovation, as we continue to employ advanced techniques and technologies to stay ahead of smugglers and other economic saboteurs.

Compt Ojo said these interceptions also underscore the importance of continuous vigilance, collaboration, and the need for a united front in the fight against smuggling and other economic crimes. As we reflect on these achievements, it is essential to recognize that our success would not have been possible without the support and cooperation of our traditional rulers and security agencies in Ogun State. Your unwavering support, valuable insights, and collaborative efforts have been instrumental in our operations. It is in this spirit of collaboration that I embarked on a courtesy visit to our revered traditional rulers and security agencies.

Stressing that the purpose of these visits was to foster synergy and collaboration in combating smuggling and enhancing economic growth and national security. By
working together, sharing intelligence, and leveraging our collective strengths, we can create a more secure and prosperous environment for our people. The support of our traditional rulers is invaluable, as they are the custodians of our cultural heritage
and play a critical role in maintaining peace and order in our communities.

Speaking further about the security agencies, their partnership and unwavering commitment to duty are commendable. Together, we have made significant strides in ensuring the safety and security of our borders. Our combined efforts are a powerful force against those who seek to undermine our economy and compromise our national security.

In conclusion, the Controller extends his heartfelt gratitude to the CGC for his
enormous support and remarkable leadership qualities. ‘It is my pleasure to also convey my sincere appreciation to all the officers and men of the Ogun I Area Command for their hard work, dedication, and professionalism. Your efforts have not gone unnoticed, and our achievements are a reflection of your commitment to excellence’.

He also thanked the traditional rulers and security agencies, for the continued support and collaboration. Together, we will continue to build on these successes, tackle new challenges, and contribute to the economic growth and security of our great nation. On a final note,  he said he would like to commend the gentlemen of the press for their patriotism and unbiased news reportage.

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