Seizures with a duty paid value (DPV) of N1,047,931,527 were recorded in Imo State and its environs by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) in 2012.
The seizures, which comprise assorted items, were intercepted by men and officers of NCS, Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone C, Owerri, Imo State.
This was disclosed by the Customs Area Controller (CAC), FOU, Zone C, Owerri, Imo State, Comptroller Mohammed Biu.
The CAC, who revealed this at the presentation of an award of excellence to him by International Merit Organisation, Vienna in Owerri, noted that with the assistance of his lieutenants, they were able to reduce smuggling to the barest minimum rate.
Biu also disclosed that men and officers of the unit have already recorded a good number of seizures this month.
"On January 14, we made seizure of Duty Paid Value (DPV) N3,200,850,00 and the content containing 92 pieces of used tyres, and 109 pieces of various sizes of new tyres. The same day, we made seizures amounting to N1,092,000, and 14 bales of second hand clothes. There were also 387 used bags, two sacks of used hand-bags and 15 bales of elastic band. Also on January 15, we made seizures amounting with a DPV of N332,800,000, containing 369 bales of printed cotton made in Holland," he said.
He attributed the strides made by men and officers of the unit to the foundation laid by the Comptroller General of Customs, Alhaji Inde Dikko Abdullahi. He added that he has dedicated the award to Abdullahi.
"He denied himself the comfort of his bed to make sure that our salary was increased. To me, he is the best comptroller of Customs ever had in Nigeria. I urge all of us to put in our best to implement the government policies to the letter. The Comptroller General has given us all we need to perform," he said.
Biu stressed the need to stall import of second hand and other materials, pointing out that they can be infectious and lead to closure of Nigeria's industries.
"The more these things come in, the more we buy them, close our industries. The workers in our industries will be prone to be partakers of all sorts of evil to make ends meet," he stressed.
Also speaking, a member of International Merit Organisation, Mr. Tony Nzekwe said the award was to Biu as a result of his hard work and dedication to duty. According to him, the award was used by the organisers to celebrate men of good conduct, diligence and elegance.