The Nigeria Customs Service, Kebbi Area Command generated a sum of ninety eight million two hundred and eighty six thousand five hundred and fifty two (₦98, 286, 525) naira in the month of May.
On the revenue, the statement noted that the amount represents 111% of the Command’s monthly revenue target.
This was disclosed by the Customs Area Controller of the Command, Dr. Ben Oramalugo while handing over seized donkey meat and skins to the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Services (NAQS) in the spirit of interagency agency collaboration.
The items handed over on Tuesday at the Command’s Headquarters in Birnin Kebbi, Public Relation Officer, ASCII Mubarak Mustapha, said in a statement on Wednesday.
He said there were 414 sacks of donkey meat and skins seized by the Command and the process of seizure started from Maje border, and ended in Kamba axis in May.
On the seized donkey meat and skins, Dr Ben Oramalugo noted that Customs are empowered to detain, seize and condemn any item on several grounds as enshrined in Section 167 of CEMA Cap C45 LFN 2004, if they are smuggled into the country or imported without payment of duty, irrespective of whether the items are allowed to be imported or outright contraband.
“Same is also applicable to the items intercepted by customs about to be smuggled out of the country. Section 63 of CEMA is unequivocal about exportation of items without following the lay down procedure of approved exports”, he stressed.
He queried, “If the exporters knew they were doing the right thing, why didn’t they follow the approved route and observe Customs export procedure?”
Further explaining reasons for the seizure to disabuse some people’s mind who think they’re doing a legitimate business, Dr. Ben Oramalugo stated that the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which is an international agreement between governments, frowns at illegal trade of endangered species which threaten the survival of the species and Nigeria is Signatory to the agreement.
He added that, decree 11 of 1985 signified Nigeria ratification of the convention.
“As for the skins, Schedule 6 of export prohibition list includes raw hide/Skin including wet blue and unprocessed leather as prohibited for export under serial No 3. And in the same vein, Serial No 7 also mentioned wild life animal classified as endangered species and their product (like lizard, elephant, crocodile etc).”
In his remarks, the Assistant Comptroller General of NAQS in charge of North West Zone, Adamu Isah Gano who took over the items for further necessary action, while appreciating the Command, also noted that international trade on such animals declared as endangered species is strictly regulated, adding that a trader must possess CITES certificate, certificate of exportation or importation as the case may be by the country’s environmental authority, sanitary/hygienic certifications and eventually, a professional comes into play, which in this case is the Chief Veterinary Officer of Nigeria (CVON), who offers permit to either import or export such animals.
The ACG NAQS concluded that in the case of donkeys, the slaughter of donkeys for their products are strictly prohibited by the extant law of Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Services and therefore appreciated Nigeria Customs Service for its laudable interventions to stop the illicit trade.