The Kano/Jigawa command of the Nigeria Customs Service has urged marketers to stop patronizing smuggled goods as such actions are detrimental to the economic development of the country.
The Area Comptroller of the Command, Nasiru Ahmed gave the advice at a stakeholders meeting with the leadership of Kano marketers.
He said their refusal to buy the goods from the smugglers for onward sale to consumers will drive them out of the illegal business.
“If we say no, that we are not going to sell foreign rice; these smugglers will be out of business. And it will be better for the Nigerian economy. So, let us patronize made-in-Nigeria rice.”
“If someone is not ready to sell smuggled goods in the market, where are the smugglers going to take it to?,” he queried.
He said Kano is not a border town but the influx of smuggled goods is on high rate because of the market that exists in the ancient city.
“You see, we have two major routes through which smuggled goods are brought into Kano. As you are aware, Kano does not share border with any of the neighbouring countries.
“But Kano being the big market is where smugglers target. So, they bring these smuggled goods through Babura axis and Daura axis, all in Katsina state; and our men and officers are dealing with them there.
“Now, once we can get the support of Kano market men and women, the entire smuggling chain will be reduced from 80 to less than 25 per cent.
The command also displayed various contraband goods worth over N150, 462, 709.00, impounded along Babura and Daura routes leading to Kano through Katsina state within one month of its operations.
Ahmed said that his men and officers were able to” intercept 678 packages of 25 kilogrammes of unfinished leather of Donkey skin with a duty paid value of N70.1 million, which were to be exported to China.”
Other items sized include over 4, 114 Jerry cans of 25 liter vegetable oil, 490 bags of foreign rice valued at N11 million, despite the partial border closure,19 units of assorted smuggled vehicles valued at N7.7 million, and 223 compressed blocks and a bag of Indian Hemp estimated at N3.3 million, concealed inside a black Jeep.
“This Cannabis Sativa which is called Indian Hemp is part of the hard drugs our children are taking and it will be easy for them to engage in kidnapping and banditry. It is valued at N3 million; and we have concluded arrangements to hand it over to NDLEA,” the Comptroller explained.
Other items impounded include 110 cartons of foreign soap valued at N802, 340; 16 bags of 50 kilogrammes foreign sugar worth N328, 560; and 132 cartons of foreign spaghetti put at N570, 145.
Ahmed added that six suspects were arrested in connection with the smuggled goods and have been granted administrative bail.
Kano is the second biggest commercial city in Nigeria and the most populous state.