Nigeria Customs Seizes Donkey Bones, Meat Worth ₦3 Billion

Asma'u Halilu, Kaduna

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The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Federal Operation Unit (FOU), Zone “B,” Kaduna State, says it has impounded consignments of donkey bones and donkey meat with a combined Duty Paid Value (DPV) of about three billion naira from April 17th to May 17th, 2024.

This is as the unit disclosed that a truck conveying 750 sacks of donkey bones estimated at two billion, three hundred and sixty-three million, five hundred thousand naira (2,363,500, 000), including two canter trucks carrying dried donkey meat, was intercepted along Kontagora-Tegina Road, Niger state.

Briefing Journalists in Kaduna, the Comptroller FoU Zone “B” Kaduna, Comptroller Ahmadu Bello Shuaibu, lamented over the attitude of persons with no regard for the lives and preservation of endangered species such as donkey, adding that such illegal trading contravenes Section 55 (1) paragraph c and i (1) of the NCS Act 2023.

He expressed worry that donkeys and other animals are already near extinction and the Nigerian government, being a signatory to the international convention for the continued prevention of endangering these species will not allow such menace to thrive in Nigerian society.

The Comptroller further revealed that the unit intercepted a vehicle along Sokoto/Gusau road in Zamfara state, conveying illicit goods, while seizures of 58,740 sachets of tramadol and 48,000 ampules of Anelgin injection were made on 2nd May 2024 along Saminaka/Nimbiya/Kafanchan axis of Kaduna state.

Other seizures within the period under review include 12 vehicles (means of conveyance) 174 Bags of Foreign Rice, (50 kg each) 234 Jerry cans of PMS, (25 litres each) 109 bales of second-hand clothing, 367 cartons of Spaghetti, 50 cartons of Macaroni, 47 Jerry cans of foreign vegetable oil, 6 sacks of used shoes, 100 sacks of snuff, 30 bags of foreign sugar, (25kg each) 2,255 cartons of herbicide chemical, 10 cartons of foreign couscous, 235 Bags of Foreign flour, (25kg each) and Over 100 cartons of general goods.

Also Read: Nigeria Customs Service Implements Reforms To Enhance Trade Facilitation

According to him, the illegal trading clearly contravenes Section 55 (1) paragraph c and i (1) of the NCS Act 2023 which says that “Import and Exports shall where applicable be subject to prohibitions and restrictions relating to: (c) The protection of the health and life of humans, animals, or plants; (i) Controlled goods imported or exported in line with relevant International laws, conventions and agreements (1) relevant International laws, Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

“Government is concerned that donkeys are part of rare animals that are being driven towards extinction by activities of unscrupulous elements, and Nigeria is signatory to the international convention for the continued prevention of endangering these species. Therefore, the Unit and indeed the Nigeria Customs Service will not and cannot fold its hand and allow this illegal trade to continue to take place.

“Anti-smuggling initiative is fast going beyond old traditional physical measures, the NCS has sharpened its skill in intelligence gathering through improved information technology kits. The era of exclusively mounting checkpoints is long gone, as our Enforcement Unit are up to date in the deployment of ICT-assisted intelligence gathering and strategies to achieve our mandate.

“The success we are showcasing today is therefore a demonstration of our collective determination to continue to carry out our duty with undivided attention, and without fear or favour.

“Those who wish to try our resolve should have a rethink, as we shall be unsparing in implementing the laws and policy directives of the Federal Government as directed by the Comptroller General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi MFR and his management team,” he said.

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