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Customs intercepts 24 illicit charcoal containers bound for export

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THE Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), Kirikiri Lighter Terminal Area (KLT) Command, Lagos, has intercepted 24  containers of charcoal to be exported to other countries.

It has also seized three 40-foot containers of vegetable oil, one container of used tyres and one container of expired bottled water between January and November 2021, with a total duty paid value of N218.7 million.

Controller of the command Hammi Swomen, who spoke to journalists at the terminal on Monday, explained that containers of charcoal were highly prohibited for export.

He said, “You are aware of the Federal Government forest policy where unprocessed wood has been prohibited for export. Nigeria is a signatory to the international society convention of flora and fauna but has not been able to get any approval in respect of these containers, destined for export without proper documentation.

“So it is in contravention of Federal Government policy, National Forest policy and also Schedule Six of the Common External Tariff, item eight. We acted on intelligence to identify these containers. Right now, an investigation is ongoing. There is a process of intercepting a container, there is also the process of investigation,” he added.

Containers of charcoal. Credit: Joseph Olaoluwa_ICIR

Swomen said it was disappointing to see the large number of seizures as he had engaged the general public, importers and exporters on the items prohibited for export as well as the trading guidelines.

Similarly, the command generated N32.705 billion for 11 months of the year, surpassing the N19.7 billion collected during the same period in 2020, recording an increase of 65.6 per cent.

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Swomen noted that the command had already exceeded the total revenue of last year by August 2021.

Bag of charcoal. Credit: Joseph Olaoluwa_ICIR

In a similar engagement, Deputy National Public Relations Officer of the Nigerian Customs Service Timi Bomodi advised importers and exporters to be transparent in their declarations for the service.

Bomodi, who spoke at the Apapa Area 1 Command, Lagos, in a press briefing, promised trade facilitation and expedited clearance for the agents that would deal with them. He also promised to checkmate any plans they might have for bypassing the law.

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