The Federal Operations Unit Zone ‘C’, Owerri of Nigeria Customs Service, has intercepted three trucks conveying six 6/20ft containers of logs of unprocessed timbers.
Exportation of unprocessed timbers contravenes schedule 6 of the Extant Common External Tariff (CET) which is deforestation and it comes with negative effects such as desert encroachment and environmental degradation.
Displaying the intercepted items on Monday at the zonal headquarters, Port Harcourt Rivers State, the Zonal Coordinator for thr Zone, Acting ACG Olusemire Kayode hinted that two suspects were arrested in connection with the seizure.
Age ACG Olusemire added that when tree felling is not checkmated, the ecosystem and its biodiversity are left to suffer.
Pointing out the economic loss brought upon Nigeria with the exportation of unprocessed logs, he added that employment creation which results from local processing of the logs is vital for Nigeria’s teeming youth.
Olumesere commend the Controller of the FOU ‘C’ Comptroller Yusuf LAWAL Psc+ and officers of the Unit for their resilience, doggedness and steadfastness in tackling smuggling and cautioned against senseless attacks on Customs operatives while carrying out their legitimate duties.
Explaining how the illegal exports was intercepted, the Zonal Coordinator said ” On July 16, 2021 at about 2.00pm, one of the surveillance teams of FOU Zone ‘C’, acting on credible intelligence trailed and intercepted three trucks conveying 6×20ft containers of logs of rough timbers along industrial road, Port- Harcourt. We also arrested two suspected smugglers who were attempting to export the unprocessed logs, but they have been released on administrative bail.
” Exportation of rough timber which contravenes schedule 6 of the extant CET comes with negative economic and environmental effects and must not be condoned”, he said.
Also speaking, the FOU ‘C’ Controller, Comptroller Yusuf Lawal psc+ said that the logs were about to be smuggled out of the country without clearance from the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC).
Comptroller Yusuf gave the marks and numbers of the containers to include MSCU-3470637, MSDU-1497355, MEDU-9739916, MEDU-5627573, MSDU-6248794 and MEDU-6792783.
He said “NEPC is an agency of Government which takes note of products that are meant for exportation so that the proceeds can be repatriated accordingly. Unfortunately NEPC is not aware of these logs and have not issued any Nigeria Export Proceeds form, further confirming therefore, that the logs were about to be smuggled out “.
Yusuf however urged Nigerians to assist the Customs Service with relevant information to aid its activities for the general good of the country