The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Tin-Can Island Command has intercepted 31 containers of 14,000 bags of rice.
Briefing Journalsits on Friday, the Comptroller General of Customs, Col Hameed Ali (rtd), represented by Deputy Comptroller Generals Dan Ugo and Iya Abubakar of EI&I and T&T departments put the duty paid value at at N71 million.
Ugo explained that a company named Destiny Limited made false declaration, thereby attempting to defraud the Federal Government.
Ugo said: “Rice importation through seaports is not prohibited but the agent claimed in the manifest that he imported 31 containers of yeast”.
He added: “Our duty to government is to ensure compliance and any defaulting agent will bear the consequences which are already stated in the laws guiding Customs operations.”
According to him, the yeast claimed to have been imported by the agent attracted five per cent duty.
Abubakar explained that the era of importers engaging in false declaration and hoping to escape Customs clearance was over.
He pledged the commitment of Customs to search the containers thoroughly to confirm that the goods were all rice and not other things.
The Zonal Coordinator, Zone `A’ of NCS, Assistant Comptroller-General Eporwei Edike, urged importers to feel free to bring rice through Nigerian ports only with honest declaration to fast track cargo clearance.
Edike explained that honest declaration would not give room for containers to accumulate demurrage.
The Customs Area Controller, Tin-Can Island Customs Command, Comptroller Yusuf Bashar, explained that the importer was not on customs fast track provision.
According to Bashar, investigation is ongoing to arrest the agent involved in the consignment.