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Customs confiscates 12 exotic cars

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Customs confiscates 12 illegally imported exotic cars, contraband worth N240m

Customs confiscates 12 illegally imported exotic cars, contraband worth N240m

By Evangeline Opara

The Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone ‘C’ of Nigeria Customs Service in Owerri says it confiscated 12 illegally imported cars and contraband with Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N240 million in the last one week.

The Unit Controller, Compt. Kayode Olusemire, made this known on Friday in Benin while taking journalists round the goods confiscated along Benin axis.

He said that three suspects were arrested in connection with the seized items who are helping customs with information.

Olusemire gave a breakdown of the confiscated items to include an Iveco Truck with a DPV of N4.05 million, carrying 633 bags of 50 kg foreign rice valued at N16.20 million, and concealed with cartons of Lucozade Boost and Ribena worth N1.82 million, all totalling N22.08 million.

Also impounded is another Iveco Truck with DPV of N4.05 million, with 1,680 crates of 33 beer worth N4.44 million, and 175 bags of 50kg foreign rice with DPV of N4.48 million, totalling N12.96 million.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the NCS also impounded a Peugeot Boxer with DPV of N1.44 million, containing 131 sacks of Indian Hemp, valued at N4.13 million, Toyota Camry 2010 model with DPV of N5.14 million and a Volvo XC 90 worth N3.58 million.

Equally seized by the Customs is a Toyota Venza 2013 model valued at N12.91 million, Mercedes Benz GLK 350, and Mercedez Benz ML 350 with DPV of N12.95 million and N5.82 million, respectively and a Toyota Tundra valued at N13.37 million.

Others are Mercedes Benz ML 350 valued N20.90 million, Toyota Hilux with DPV of N13.37 million, Toyota Tacoma worth N13.39 million, Toyota Highlander valued N17,91 million and a Range Rover HSE, worth N30.73 million aside others.

Olusemire warned people against taking illicit drugs, saying that most of the social vices such as kidnapping, Boko Haram activities and armed robbery were results of taking such drugs.

He enjoined companies and individuals to desist from planting such drugs.

On the impounded cars, the Custom Zone ‘C’ boss said that the owners of the cars evaded paying legal duties on them and appealed to importers to always go to the ports or custom offices nearest to them to pay their duties.

He said Nigeria had arable lands that people could plant rice, adding that the current government was doing all within its powers to encourage local rice production.

“Custom is ready anytime and anywhere to tackle smugglers. South South, South East is no more heaven for smugglers. No matter the system they use, we will fish them out.

“Nigerians find it difficult to comply with the law. The custom service is now in a new horison; officers are being motivated and trained, it is no more business as usual. The paragim has shifted and the officers are complying with it.

“Some people are not supporting Customs officers but what we are doing is for the benefit of all,” he said.

The comptroller solicited the help of the media in information dissemination on the negative impact of smuggling and the public in divulging useful and intelligent information that would assist the service do its work well.

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2019 budget: Buhari’s appointee, Ben Akabueze confirms Nigeria is facing serious financial challenges

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Ben Akabueze

Ben Akabueze


Director-General of the Budget Office, Mr. Ben Akabueze, has said that the nation is facing financial challenges, with the Federal Government’s budgeted Independent Revenue performing at a mere 36 per cent, as of September.

Addressing Chief Executive Officers of Government-Owned Enterprises, GOEs, in Abuja, yesterday, Akabueze blamed the challenges on the refusal of some Federal Government organisations to remit revenue to the treasury up to the tune of N2.81 trillion.

The figure came from a long list of 50 defaulting GOEs with unremitted revenues in the current year, as well as those brought forward from previous years.

Top on the list were Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA, with N1.343 trillion; Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, with N801 billion; Nigeria Ports Authority, NPA, with N192. 102 billion; Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, N66.081 and Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, N51.991 billion.

Others among the largest debtors were NIPOST, N37.744 billion; Nigeria Communications Commission, NCC, N30.853 billion, National Inland WaterWays Authority, NIWA, N30. 834 billion, National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, N30.709 billion and Nigeria Airspace Management Agency, NAMA, N22.799 billion.

Speaking, the DMO boss said the country was battling a shortfall in revenue which is worsened by failure of Federal Government organizations to remit about N2.810 trillion.

Akabueze said: “Nigeria faces significant medium-term fiscal challenges, especially with respect to revenue generation. The FY 2017 and Jan-Sept 2018 budget performance clearly reveal that we have a serious revenue challenge.”

He condemned the practice by the GOEs, in which he said the Federal Government had invested over N40 trillion, over the years but failed to provide revenue support for government expenditure.

He said: “Despite huge sums the Federal Government has invested (circa N40 trillion) in these agencies, what is usually remitted to the Treasury in terms of dividend or surplus at the end of each operating year is mostly insignificant.

“The record shows that few of the GOEs declare surpluses. In effect, the Nigerian tax payers/general public have not benefited much from these investments in the agencies.

“Out of the total projected sum of N847.95 billion Independent Revenues in 2018, only N302.66 billion, representing 36.8% performance, had been achieved by September this year.”

He further said that key reforms would be implemented with increased vigour to improve revenue collection and expenditure management.

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Perform or get fired – EEDC chairman, Emeka Ofor to staff

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The Enugu Electricity Distribution Company, EEDC, has declared that it would no longer condone incompetent members of staff.

It has, therefore, vowed that such staff would be disengaged and new ones recruited to meet the company’s target of quality service to the people.

The chairman of the company, Chief Emeka Ofor, made this known during the EEDC maiden special recognition of some of its staff.

At the event held in Enugu, Chief Ofor commended the 22 members of staff for their efforts to improve the service delivery to customers, urging them to double their effort to support the company.

Offor, who lamented the huge amount invested in the company without any dividend for five years, disclosed that the company has only achieved 6% of its target in 5 years.

He said that some staff contributed to the loss as they connived with customers who don’t want to pay their bill and turn their eyes from what they were supposed to do.

“Today, we are at the final stage of 2018; we took over this company in November 2013. When the Federal Government, FG, was handing over the company to us, the intention was that the Disco will make progress and since then, we have been having a lot of issues.

“From 2013 to 2018 is 5 years and we have been able to achieve 6% of our target, which means what we are achieving is not acceptable before me.

“We have a lot of issues that we are passing through because you have people who are not doing exactly what they should do,”he said..

Bemoaning the high rate of power theft, he said, “We have members of staff who connive with customers who don’t want to pay their bills, we have some who are neck deep in corruption, we have some who turn their eyes in what they are supposed to do and do illegal connections, that is what is causing these problems,”

“I have no regret but by January 2019, the game is going to change and it must change for good. We have people who are doing these works and you can see that some of those people are inefficient and not doing what they are supposed to be doing. We will have no option, instead of keeping these people, we will look for competent hands to support the company or else we lose the investment”, Ofor said.

Earlier in an address by the Managing director, Okey Nwosu, commended the beneficiaries for their effort towards achieving success and urged those who couldn’t meet the criteria to show commitment.

Nwosu regretted the death of one of the staff in the line of duty and disclosed that the company had launched safety initiative to make sure that the staff would be completely accident free while discharging their duties.

He pointed out that the company would make the safety tips discussion as the first interaction in any gathering by the company to allow the staff internalise the important of safety.

Nwosa, who disclosed that the company would become the number one electricity distribution company in the country, stated that they would use all the indices to attain success.

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2019 Budget Presentation: NANS appeal to PASAN to shelve strike

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The National Asoociation of Nigerian Students (NANS), has appealed to National Assembly Workers, under the aegis of Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN), to shelve their ongoing strike.

Business activities at the National Assembly complex ,Abuja was paralysed on Monday, as members of PASAN commenced a 4-day warning strike which will run till Thursday.

The National Assembly workers are demanding payment of their outstanding salary arrears, allowances and other welfare packages.

NANS National Public Relations Officer, Mr Bestman Okereafor, made the appeal in in Enugu.

Okereafor said that the ongoing strike would cause a major setback as regards the 2019 National Budget Presentation by President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday, to a joint session of parliamentarians.

He noted that if not checked, the strike would affect the 2019 appropriation if relevant agencies and government offices concerned do not find lasting solutions to the demand of the PASAN members.

According to him, this is coming in the face of the consistent industrial actions embarked upon by various unions in the different sectors, especially in the education sector.

NAN’s image maker expressed concern that the negative development of the various strike in the education sector was becoming absolutely unbearable for Nigerian students.

“It is no more news that the Academic Staff Union Of Polytechnics (ASUP) has also joined the league, even as Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is still on strike.

“Yet, PASAN has shut down the National Assembly over a mirage of issues and this shut down will definitely affect the proposed 2019 Budget Presentation by Mr President on Dec. 19.

“If the presentation is delayed and presented next year, there will be spiral negative effect of the late presentation on our economy generally,’’ he said.

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