Customs vows to eliminate smuggling of frozen poultry products

Posted by News Express | 6 October 2015 | 3,322 times

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Mr. Musa Tahir, Deputy Comptroller-General of Customs on Enforcement and Investigation, said on Monday that the organisation would collaborate with stakeholders on ways to eliminate smuggling of frozen poultry products.

Tahir said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, just as the Apapa Area 1 Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) said it collected N23.3 billion as revenue in September, a figure below the N30.1 billion collected in August.

Tahir, in the interview, said that the service had improved its new operational policy tagged: ‘Hawk Descend,’ which was aimed at ensuring zero tolerance to smuggling of poultry products in the country.

“In relation to poultry smuggling, this exercise has started and we intend to sustain it; in the next few weeks we are going to review our activities and see where we have gotten it right and were we have gone wrong.

“And together with our stakeholders, Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN), we will re-strategise and make sure we bring the smuggling of poultry products to barest minimum.

“Five months ago we (customs) noticed that smuggled case has gotten bad and because of that we decided to launch operation hawk descend.

“The purpose was to make sure that we reduce smuggling of poultry products to the barest minimum because of the health risk involved.

“I call on Nigerians not to buy any smuggled poultry products no matter how cheap it is; it is harmful to their health and not good for our economy.”

According to him, the essence of the operation is due to the challenges the service was facing with smugglers of poultry products in the country.

He said that Nigerians were not sure of the source of the imported poultry products, especially how long the products have stayed in the various cold rooms.

Tahir said that the service got information that the chemicals used to freeze the products were similar to those used to embalm death bodies.

He advised Nigerians to stop patronising smuggled and imported frozen poultry products because of the dangers.

Tahir said that the products, when consumed, could be harmful to human health and could cause deadly diseases.

He called on traders and consumers of banned products to patronise local farmers as this would create job opportunities and boost the economy of the country.

In Lagos, the Area Controller, Comptroller Eporwei Edike, in a statement, informed that the decline in revenue might not be unconnected with the exclusion of some items from foreign exchange transactions by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The report indicated that N12.6 billion went into the Federation Account in September comprising import duty, fees and Common External Tariffs (CET).

It said that under the Non-Federation Account, the command generated N10.7 billion from 5 per cent Value Added Tax (VAT); 7 per cent Port Levy, and 0.5 per cent ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme (ETLS).

Other sources of revenues into the Non-Federation Account are one per cent Comprehensive Import Supervision Scheme (CISS), National Automotive Council (NAC), levies on rice, iron, sugar and wheat grain.

The report also indicated that N11 million was collected from the Negotiable Duty Credit Certificate (NDCC).

The NDCC is a document accepted for duty payment from importers who bring in materials for production purposes. (NAN)

•Photo shows Col. Hammed Ali (rtd)

Source: News Express

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