No fewer than 282 vessels were missing from terminals, Senate Panel disclosed.
The chairman, Senate Committee on Customs, Excise and Tariff, Senator Hope Uzodinma who made the shocking revelations during public hearing on smuggling in Nigeria added that the names of the officers that released the terminal is already known by the Committee.
The senator who lamented lack of security in the terminals also threatened Managing Director of Sovereign Fund Investment Authority, Uche Orji with warrant of arrest if he fails to appear before the committee
“we want Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) to come and explain what happened to 282 vessels that disappeared from terminals.
“We have names of the releasing officers. This shows that there is no security at the terminal,” Hope said.
Uzodinma who also complained about mind burgling smuggling in Nigeria said:
“If you go by the projected revenue of the service for this year which is approximately N600 billion, it means that the service will lose about N200 billion in revenue this year alone.”
In addition, the chairman said” the report has it that over $15 billion or N4.35 trillion worth of good scare smuggled into the country each year through sea port.
“The story is the same in our international Airport put together, it means that goods worth over N7 trillion are smuggled into the country each year.
“The freighting thing here is that the annual turnover in the hand of smugglers is more than our annual budget.”
Commenting, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki said:
“If care is not taken the trend which has seen cheap par-boiled rice flooding the country from Benin Republic has the tendency of damaging of local production and industry, reversing the hard earned growth.
“The cumulative effect of this is not just to the local market but this has the potential to further exacerbate the already bad unemployment situation in the country.”
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