The Nigeria Customs, Kebbi state Area Command has handed over seized donkey skins worth over N48.1million to the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service, (NAQS), for safe disposal.
The Customs Area Controller, Comptroller Joseph O. Attah, performing the handover ceremony at the Command Headquarters, attributed the seizure to credible intelligence about smuggling activities around Bahindi – Dogon Rimi Waterside in Bagudo local government area.
Significantly, the inter-agency collaboration has yielded a whooping 6,832 hides safe disposal. NAQS had earlier received 3,712 and 300 pieces of hides seized from Kano and Suleja respectively, added to the recent 2,820 pieces from Kebbi state.
Attah said, “The command’s Rapid Response team upon approaching the described location, sighted a huge covered mound of loads near the river bank. They discovered that the covered mound was sacks of donkey skins carefully arranged, awaiting a boat for onward smuggling out of the country.
“The items were evacuated from the location and brought to our headquarters in Birnin Kebbi. Physical examination revealed 94 jumbo sacks, each containing 30 pieces making a total of 2,820 donkey skins.
“The item is valued at N48.13 million.”
Donkey skins according to Attah fall under Schedule 6 of Common External Tariff – (2022-2026) exportation of which is prohibited. The intent to smuggle it out of the country therefore contravenes Section 63 (b) of CEMA CAP C. 45, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 (as amended).
“This level of poaching resulting in the slaughtering of 2,820 donkeys is not acceptable. If this is allowed to continue, donkeys will go into extinction,” Attah stated.