The Nigeria Customs Service on Tuesday said it had impounded 177 units of vehicles and other items including food items from smugglers through the Lagos border.
Comptroller, Federal Operations Unit Zone A, Ikeja, Lagos, Mohammed Garba, disclosed this when members of the Senate Committee on Customs, Excise and Tarif visited the zone on oversight functions.
The visit was led by the Chairman of the Committee, Hope Uzodinma.
“After the goods are seized, they go through the process of condemnation through the court.
“The Customs and Excise Act provides that if officers of the service seized goods, they are going to be forfeited to the Federal Government.
“What we do is to urge the court to grant an order forfeiting the good to the Federal Government for the purpose of auctioning,’’ he said.
Mr Garba added that NCS had also seized and condemned 59 vehicles including trucks.
“We also condemned 33,408 unused tyres; 18,920 bags of foreign rice and 793 bale of second-hand clothes.”
He added that 339 bags of new textile materials and 1,475 kegs of vegetable oil of 25 litres were also condemned.
Mr Garba noted that the Federal Operation Unit was an anti-smuggling unit and not a revenue generating unit.
“We make sure that goods that are not allowed to come in are not allowed and goods that adequate money for the government has not been collected, we ensure that such money is collected,’’ Mr Garba said.
On his part, Mr Uzodinma frowned at the large number of goods and services seized which were yet to be destroyed.
He lamented that over N600 billion had been lost in the last three years as a result of importing cold rail.
“Companies that use these rails have folded up. We will call on government to abrogate some of these policies if we want to grow this economy,” he said.
The lawmaker assured the service of continuous support in line with the committee’s oversight responsibilities toward achieving improved service delivery.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the committee also visited DHL, DAG Automobile Industry and Chi Limited, makers of Chivita drinks.