Customs Western Marine Command seizures in 10 months hit N430m
The Western Marine Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has said that it confiscated contrabands worth over N430 million from January to October, 2016 from smugglers. The seizures were made up of scrap metal, narcotics, expired drugs and other prohibited items.
Speaking in Lagos at the Nigeria Ship Finance Conference and Exhibition (NISFCOE), the Customs Area Controller of the Command, Comptroller Yusuf Umar attributed the feat to the dedication of men and officers of the command.
Umar pointed out that where there was no fund to acquire new vessels or to refurbish existing ones; activities of the economic saboteurs on the nation’s waterways would go unchecked adding that that was a security risk the nation could not afford to allow.
Umar said the Nigeria Customs Service would acquire adequate sea going vessels, gun boats and speed boats, provide heavy duty weapons to combat illegal activities of smuggling, training and re-training of officers and men of the Service to international standard of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) among others.
According to him, security plays a vital role in ensuring fluidity of trade in the maritime sector, the Controller observed that the impact of security operations on the nation’s waterways required a combined effort of surveillance, access control, perimeter detection, building technologies on surveillance ships and proper people and processes.
He said “I pray that through your deliberations, the issue of ship Finance as it affects security will also be brought to fore citing what partnership can be made for the acquisition of these vessels. Our waters can be safer but this calls for high spirited collaboration amongst stakeholders especially the financial sector”.