The Customs Service, a government agency tasked with the responsibility of preventing unsafe and illegal imports into the country, has been active and effective in its duties. Recently, the agency reported multiple interceptions of firearms, substandard and illegal products, demonstrating its unyielding efforts to keep the country safe and fulfilling its mission. In keeping with its mandate, the Acting Comptroller-General of Customs (Ag. CGC), Bashir Adewale Adeniyi MFR, mentioned that the agency is ready to work with the National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons (NCCSALW) to tackle the issue of small arms and light weapons trafficking.
Adeniyi, the Ag. CGC, conveyed this information to the Coordinator of NCCSALW, Major General Abba Muhammad Dikko (retired), on Tuesday, at the Customs Headquarters in Abuja. Adeniyi stressed that the agency has been consistently involved in the efforts to eliminate the problem of the widespread distribution of small arms and light weapons. This commitment, he said, was shown through numerous instances where the agency has successfully intercepted and confiscated these illicit materials, often concealed within unsuspecting bags of rice and other lawful products.
There is a need to expand into intelligence and data interaction.
It’s worth noting that in the second week of August 2023, the Service successfully intercepted over a thousand live munitions in Abeokuta, the capital of Ogun State, hidden in 203 sacks of imported rice. While praising the National Coordinator for bringing his team to Customs Headquarters to establish partnership, the Ag. CGC also emphasized the need to expand into intelligence and data interaction. He gave his word that the agency was looking forward to working more closely with the center on its database, as he also expressed satisfaction over NCCSALW progress.
Furthermore, he provided an unequivocal guarantee that the Nigeria Customs Service will exert utmost efforts to foster collaboration with the Agency by means of deploying additional Customs Officers to collaborate with the Centre. Regarding the area of intellect, he expressed optimism that they are adequately prepared for its pursuit. He claimed that the agency possesses a formidable intelligence unit, and that the majority of the confiscations attributed to the agency’s achievements were accomplished by means of acquiring reliable intelligence.
Nigeria Customs is effectively curbing illegal influx of weaponry.
In his address, Maj. Gen. Dikko (rtd.), congratulated the Ag. CCG on his appointment and he further characterized the agency’s Service as a formidable bastion in the relentless pursuit of curbing the proliferation of unlawful arms within our society. He praised the efforts undertaken by the Nigeria Customs Service in effectively curbing the illegal influx of weaponry across the Nigerian borders, emphasizing the pivotal role played by these efforts in safeguarding the nation and its populace.
According to him, it is generally known that Nigeria has a number of security concerns, with the availability of small arms a major contributor. A safer community cannot be achieved without the aid of Customs’ interception of many small guns. Furthermore, the NCCSALW Coordinator lauded the Service’s unwavering commitment to his Agency’s programs. He said that maintaining this cooperation will benefit the country in the protection against the proliferation of small guns and ammunition as well as generate more funds for government.
Establishing effective collaboration among agencies.
More so, the proliferation of small arms and light weapons is recognized as an obstacle to development. An essential factor for the prevention, mitigation, and elimination of the unlawful trade of small arms and light weapons lies in establishing effective collaboration among agencies such as customs, immigration, and border police. Also, the efforts to curbing the arms proliferation needs to be integrated into a larger plan aimed at preventing the illicit, cross-border movements of all types of weapons and ammunition.
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