The Apapa Port Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service has impounded a 40-foot container laden with tilapia frozen fish imported from Turkey. The container had a total of 2,700 cartons of the fish with Duty Paid Value of N22,193,380.
Addressing journalists at the Apapa command on Monday, the Area Controller, Comptroller Jubril Musa, said the container with number DFOU6122880 was discharged at the AP Mollier Terminal Apapa, Lagos.
Jubrin stated that the fish specie is on import restriction, explaining that importers of allowable quantities of such fish were expected to obtain license and permit with necessary quota before importation to Nigeria.
Jubrin stated that as part of the Customs' collective resolve to ensure strict compliance with the Federal Government's extant rules and guidelines on importation, the command has intensified surveillance of cargo traffic, hence the unraveling of the attempt to smuggle the frozen commodity into the country.
The Apapa Command boss disclosed that in the spirit of inter-agency collaboration, the command has opened communication with the Agriculture and Plant Quarantine Services as well as the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) over the seizure.
According to him, the highly nutritious consignment of fish is expected to expire in the year 2018 and it may recommend to the high command that the stock should not be destroyed given that it is yet to expire. He explained that it will up to the leadership in Abuja to decide if the fish would be distributed to the internally displaced persons in various camps in the northeast of the country.
"I wish to reiterate that in line with the zero tolerance for smuggling and false declaration policy of Colonel Hameed Ali, Comptroller General of Customs, we shall continue to uncover, discover and stop any attempt at breaching the law as regards importation and exportation transaction through this command", Jubrin declared.
He urged stakeholders to be law abiding as no stone will be left unturned in enforcing government's fiscal policies.