The Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) has reduced its checkpoints to about 34 across the nation's strategic routes, in line with the Federal Government's Ease of Doing Business agenda.
Meanwhile, the Federal Operation Unit (FOU) Zone 'A' of NCS has intercepted about 27 assorted vehicles, 1,237 bags of expired rice and other contrabands smuggled into the country through unapproved routes.
The Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd.), had earlier directed the dismantling of any checkpoint beyond 40km radius of the land borders, and also made known to the public the official checkpoints to ease movement of goods.
Spokesman for NCS, Joseph Attah, who confirmed the spots in statement, said any operation beyond the 40km should be only on credible information not lasting more than 24 hours at a time.
He said: "In line with the executive order on the ease of doing business in Nigeria. The Service wishes to make public the list of approved Customs check-points and what is required from stakeholders at such check-points."
They include: Gbaji along Lagos-Seme Expressway; Ajilete, Ihumbo, Ayetoro, Atan along Idiroko-Lagos Road; Igbeti in Oyo State; Benin Toll Gate,
Ewu junction, Edo State; Onitsha head bridge, Anambra; Damasak, Dikwa, Duji, Borno/Yobe; Uya-Oro Ikom, Onna, Urua-akpa junction, Akwa-Ibom/Cross-River.
Others are: Agangaro, Shoroka, Katsina State; Baisa, Mang, Ngoroje, Kanyaka, Gembu-Jalingo, Gembu-Cameroun road in Adamawa/Taraba states; Maigatari, Babura/Turare, Achilafia, Daura road, Kano/Jigawa; Luma in Niger State and Gurbin, Banre, Mamman Suka, Tangaza in Sokoto State.
The Customs boss also listed the documents required at the checkpoints to include Single Goods Declaration (SGD) of Form C2010; Form 'M'; PAAR (Pre-Arrival Assessment Report); ASYCUDA Acknowledgement of Exit; Bill of Lading/Air way Bill and a host of others depending on the cargo.
The Controller, FOU Zone 'A' Ikeja, Mohammed Uba Garba, who paraded the seizures in Lagos on Monday, said 16 suspects have been arrested in connection with the seizures.
According to him the smuggled vehicles, which included Toyota Prado Jeep, Toyota Hilux, Toyota Highlander, Mercedes Benz among others, ranging from 2007 to 2013 models, have a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N228.2 million.
Garba said the seizures were made based on credible information and its intensified operational modalities.
The Unit had about three weeks ago intercepted 37 assorted vehicles smuggled into the country through Cotonou, Benin Republic, with DPV of N1.37 billion.
Garba bemoaned the incessant smuggling activities, adding that the ban on importation of vehicles and rice through the land borders are still in force.
According to him, the anti-smuggling activities also yielded positive gains through interception of other contrabands comprising foreign parboiled rice; frozen poultry products; Indian hemp; medicaments; used tyres ; various general merchandise and three containers seized for false declaration with a DPV of N303.2 million.
Besides, the unit, he said also recovered N252.1 million from duty payments and demand notice on general goods that tried to outsmart the officers at seaports, airports and border stations.
The controller officially the handle some of the contrabands to the officials of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) accordingly.