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Customs seizes 7,951 items, generates N23.8bn



The Oyo/Osun Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) says it seized 7,951 items and generated N23.8 billion in seven months.

The Comptroller of Customs in the command, Abdullahi Zulkifli, disclosed this on Wednesday while briefing journalists on the achievements of the last seven months.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the seized items included 6,067 (50kg) of foreign rice, 730 (25-litre) kegs of vegetable oil, 93 vehicles, 39 bales of second hand clothing, 966 pieces of used tyres, 50 (50kg) bags of sugar and six bundles of textile materials.

Zulkifli said the duty paid value of the seized items was N210.8 million.

The comptroller also said 35 suspects were arrested in connection with the seizures, with 30 given administrative bail and five charged to court.

He said the N23.8 billion generated in the period under review surpassed the N22 billion generated in the same period last year.

Zulkifli expressed confidence that the command would surpass the N30 billion target given to the command for 2019.

He said NCS would ensure that no stone was left unturned in combating smuggling and the challenges posed by smugglers.

“We will continue to intensify our intelligence and operational strategies in the course of suppressing smuggling and generating more revenue.

“The command on July 30 commissioned a customs outpost at Kishi community in Irepo LGA of Oyo State in a bid to combat smuggling in the area.

“Kishi community has long been perceived to engage in smuggling with impunity because of its hostility to officers of NCS”.

He called on Governor. Seyi Makinde of Oyo State to prevail on Kishi community to refrain from its hostility to Customs officials.

Zulkifli said the NCS would continue to engage and educate the local and business communities on the security and economic implication of smuggling in the course of enforcing compliance with the government’s fiscal policy.


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Customs seizes N5 billion codeine, tramadol



The strike force of the Controller General of Customs on Friday raided a warehouse in Lagos where cartons of codeine, tramadol, and other illegal drugs worth N5 billion were kept.

The warehouse, located along the Mile-Oshodi expressway, was raided after a trailer load of the hard drugs was intercepted at Maryland in Lagos.

Usman Yahaya, team leader of the Customs Strike Force Zone A, said the trailer was intercepted around 2 a.m. on August 13 by his operatives.

“Immediately it was brought to our notice, we carried a preliminary investigation that led to the discovery of a warehouse along Oshodi-Mile 2 road stocked dreaded tramadol, codeine and other unregistered pharmaceutical products without NAFDAC numbers”.

He said that after evacuating the warehouse of the hard drugs with street value of N5 billion, one suspect was arrested.

“The warehouse was immediately sealed with a detachment of well armed officers to guard the place”.

“The drugs estimated to be loaded in 21 trailers with street value of over five billion Naira are being evaluated for custody and subsequent judicial process/destruction.”

Three weeks ago, the agency in collaboration with the National Administration of Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) destroyed 48 by 40feet of controlled drugs worth N146billion at a destruction site in Ogun State.

“We therefore call on well meaning Nigerians to support the Nigerian Customs Service on this patriotic resolution”.

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Inflation gets low in July – NBS



The average change in the prices of foods and services reduced in July compared to June, the statistics bureau, NBS, has said.

According to the NBS, the Headline Inflation reduced to 11.08 per cent in July from 11.22 per cent in June.

The Food Inflation reduced from 13.56 per cent in June to 13.39 per cent in July while the Core Inflation reduced from 8.84 per cent in June to 8.80 per cent in July.

Details later…

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CBN outlines new guidelines to banks



The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says it has released guidelines for the disbursement of lower denominations of the Naira through microfinance banks (MFBs) across the country.

The bank’s Director, Corporate Communications Department, Mr Isaac Okorafor, made this known in a statement in Abuja on Thursday.

Okorafor said this development was contained in a circular issued by the Director, Currency Operations Department of the bank, Mrs Patricia Eleje, in Abuja on Thursday.

He explained that the circular indicated that all microfinance banks must have a Composite Risk Rating (CRR) of above average in the most recent Risk Based Supervision (RBS) target examination before they were considered for the scheme.

He explained that the measure was to ensure that only MFBs with good corporate governance practices took part, NAN reports.

“Meanwhile, the participating MFBs must be willing to accept a mixture of new and other banknotes, and that the MFBs shall give 20 per cent of any withdrawal in lower denomination notes subject to a maximum of N50,000.

“Where beneficiaries withdraw more than once in a day, the circular said that disbursement will only apply to one transaction per day.

“Similarly, the MFBs are allowed to exchange notes subject to a maximum of N50,000 for customers with bank accounts and N10,000 for customers without bank accounts.

“In that situation, the banks must not exchange for same beneficiaries more than once a week,” he added.

According to him, MFBs are to maintain a register of amounts received from the CBN through their correspondent commercial banks.

Okorafor said the MFB must also maintain another register of the beneficiaries of the lower denomination notes as well as ensure that withdrawal teller slips contain breakdown of the denomination of the currency to customers with accounts.

“The circular also warned MFBs against hawking, hoarding or using of funds obtained under the intervention for any other purpose.

“It also instructed the banks to put in place effective control measures that will ensure that banknotes disbursed to customers with or without accounts are not sold.

“Furthermore, the circular directed the banks to render weekly and monthly disbursement return to CBN branches where the intervention would be monitored periodically, and appropriate sanctions applied to erring MFBs,” he said.

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