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Finance Ministry abandons Customs warehouse for 7 years

By on April 26, 2013

Over seven years after the award of contract for the construction of a government warehouse for seized goods at the Ogun State Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) in Abeokota by the Federal Ministry of Finance, the project has been abandoned, even as seized consignments worth several millions of naira are wasting away.

Although the exact date of commencement of the project could not be ascertained as at press time, a source close to the Command told Vanguard that construction of the warehouse started around 2005 before it was abandoned. The source said since the award, the Command has not heard anything from ministry.

When Vanguard visited the Command’s office at Abeokuta on Monday, a lot of the seized items including rice, poultry products, textile materials etc, were seen rotting away, while cars of different types littered the compound.

Meanwhile, the increased volume of impounded smuggled items by the Command is attributed to the anti-smuggling stance of the Customs Area Controller (CAC), Comptroller Ade Dosumu, the source said.

In a chat with newsmen recently, Public Relations Officer of the Command, Mr. Chike Ngige said, “the new CAC has sent a signal to smugglers within the border points that it cannot be business as usual, as he led the officers on a night anti-smuggling operation and recorded huge success. The operation meticulously carried out lasted till the wee hours of the following day.”