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Who is Lying Over The Import Of 33 Containers Load Of Rice At Tin Can Island Port?

For now Importers who think they can bring prohibited cargoes  into the country, particular foreign par boiled rice   in Containers through the seaports    because of  the tight security at the land borders  with the neighbouring countries of the Republic of Benin, Niger, Tchad and the Central African country of Cameroon   may have to do a rethink.

A security Operative who spoke to the Grassroots Publishers online at Tin can Island port disclosed that the importer  may succeed in shipping the Consignment  through any of the country’s seaports   but may   not be able to take delivery of it as Hameed Ali , a retired Army Colonel and Comptroller General, Nigerian Customs Service, appears to have shifted his attention to the ports as the land borders have become a no go area. From the borders Communities in the  south west, south-south, North west and Central geographical regions, the story is the same: tight security. It is not surprising why the  importers , particular, foreign rice importers  turned smugglers have found the seaports as the last option to carry out their nefarious activities with the use of Containers.

The recent seizure of 11 Containers load of foreign par boiled rice at Port Harcourt Area II in Rivers state speaks volume. The value of the II Containers load of rice was put at about N102.4 million. Note that prior to the Port Harcourt Area  II Containers load of rice seizure, there was a case  of 33 Containers load of rice  allegedly seized at Tin-Can Island port, on Tuesday , October 29,2019.

Abdullahi Musa, the Area Comptroller, of the Customs Command,  and  a World Customs Organisation, WCO, trained  Valuation and Classification officer, who was said to have given a free hand to his key  Operation officers: Dera Nnadi, a Deputy Comptroller and Head of the Command  Enforcement Unit, Murktar Ibrahim, an Assistant Comptroller and Head of the Compliance Unit, described in Customs Circles, as a revenue mobiliser, and the  Deputy Comptroller in-charge f the Command  Alert Unit, to do their  work.

The trio  were said to have been working closely together , thus making it  difficult for fraudulent importers to ship any  prohibited Consignment that contravenes the government fiscal policy through the port or take delivery of it.  The seizure of the dread Pharmaceutical product, tramadol is a clear indication of Musa’s intolerance to smuggling activities at the port using the Officers to the work. Also, the recent case involving  Masters Energy Commodities Trading  limited, owned by  Uche Ogah, the minister of Solid Minerals and Steel Development, over the alleged  importation of 33 Containers  load of rice from the Asian country of Thailand  bear eloquent testimony to the Command aggressive drive to checkmate fraudulent activities at the port.

The  alert was said to have  triggered off  putting  Nnadi, the DC.Enforcement and his men  on the red alert.  The officers at the  Command exit gates  were also said to have been  put on the alert to ensure that the Containers load of  foreign  rice did not exit the port.

Given an insider information, Joseph Attah, a Deputy Comptroller and NCS Spokesperson,  disclosed that the discovery  of the Containers load of rice  which were  stacked at the Tin can Island  port  came as a result  of the painstaking ‘’profiling  of un-utilised  Bill of Lading  and unclosed  manifests’’.

Attah noted that when the cargoes were subjected to physical examination, by all the relevant agencies personnel at the port, it was found to contain the Asian country of Thailand expired  par boiled rice. He revealed that some of the ‘’50’’ bags of rice carry Nigerian address coming from outside the country. Some of the Nigeria  address that were said to have been used by the importer include: No. 31 A Remi Kayode  Street, GRA, Ikeja, Lagos,  and Yunee International Trading Company  limited, 103 Ebitu Ukiwe Street, , Jabi, Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.


By: Emeji Noble

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