By Innocent Orok
The Acting Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service ( NCS) , Bashir Adewale Adeniyi MFR, has expressed the readiness of his management team to collaborate with the National Center for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons (NCCSALW) in the fight against the trafficking of Small Arms and Light Weapons.
The CGC made this known to the Coordinator of the National Center for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons, Major General Abba Muhammad Dikko (rtd.), on Tuesday, 5th September, 2023, at the Customs Headquarters, Abuja.
The Customs boss said, “This is not the first time Nigeria Customs Service has been contributing to eradicating the menace of the proliferation of small arms and light weapons, as it has, on several occasions, made seizures of such illicit substances often concealed in bags of rice and other legitimate products”.
Recall that the Service has, in the second week of August 2023, succeeded in intercepting over 1,000 live ammunition concealed in 203 bags of foreign rice in Abeokuta, the Ogun State Capital.
The Customs Boss, who appreciated the National Coordinator for leading his team to visit the Service’s Headquarters to knot ties with him, also emphasized the need to venture more into intelligence and data sharing.
“We will be looking forward to having a deeper collaboration with the centre in terms of your database. First, I wish to inform you that I am happy that your Agency is doing well.” Customs Boss said.
He also gave assurance that the Nigeria Customs Service will do everything possible to synergize with the Agency through the secondment of more Customs Officers to work with the Center.
“In terms of intelligence, I believe that you’re ready for it. We also do have a formidable intelligence unit, and most of the seizures that have been credited to Customs are done through gathering credible intelligence.” He added.
Addressing the Comptroller-General of Customs, the Coordinator of National Center for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons, Maj. Gen. Abba Muhammad Dikko (rtd.) congratulated him on his appointment and described the Service as a substantial pillar in pursuing illicit arms in society.
He commended the efforts made by the Nigeria Customs Service in the area of intercepting illicit flow of arms through the Nigerian borders and further emphasized that it helps in securing the Country and the citizens.
“We all know that Nigeria is suffering from a myriad of insecurity-related issues of different sorts, and the key catalyst that has continued to fuel this insecurity is the availability of small arms, and without the help of Customs, we will not have a lovely and safer environment.” He said.
The National Coordinator, however, applauded the Service’s unflinching support in gracing his Agency’s programmes.
According to him, the synergy, if sustained, will not only help in protecting the country against the multiplication of small arms and ammunition but also in the area of generating revenue for the Federal Government.