The Area Controller of Customs in Seme, Mr Willy Egbudin, had handed over seized antiquities, valued at N2.8 million, to the National Commission for Museums and Monuments.
This is contained in a statement signed by the Public Relations Officer of the command, Mr Ernest Olottah, in Badagry, Lagos on Saturday.
The statement revealed that the prohibited items were intercepted by customs officers at Owode border in Ogun, on Oct. 3, 2013, from suspected smugglers, on their way to Benin Republic.
The statement quoted Egbudin as saying that the seizures were made in order to prevent the loss of government’s property.
“It is part of this agency’s function to make such seizures on behalf of other government agencies.
“It is our collective responsibility to protect our cultural heritage and prevent criminals from depleting our historical art,” the statement quoted Egbudin saying.
Receiving the antiquities the Director General of the NCMM, Malam Yusuf Usman, urged the command not to relent in curbing the illegal exportation of priceless antiquities.
“Some of these antiquities are unique and we don’t even have them in our stores, so we will try to increase our collections and preserve our treasures.
“This is what makes us proud, especially when we travel overseas; you know they don’t have these things over there,” he said.
In another development, the Area Controller has called on the Seme border business community, particularly importers and licenced customs agents, to embrace change.
Addressing them during a one day sensitisation programme on Pre-Arrival Assessment Report, Egbudin urged the stakeholders to abide by the guidelines.
He said guidelines were designed to facilitate trade and ensure effective use of business time for maximum results.
Egbudin urged the stakeholders to imbibe the knowledge on PAAR and make honest declarations.
Participants at the enlightenment programme were drawn from Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents, National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders and many others.