Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, the Acting Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs Service, has said that information at his disposal shows that there is an increase in smuggling of rice and illicit drugs across some borders in the country, Daily Trust reports.
The customs boss warned that such smuggling must be curtailed to safeguard the country.
CG Adeniyi made the statement during an interactive session with officers and men of the Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone B during a working visit to Kaduna.
He warned that there is a need to effectively police the country’s border with Niger Republic, warning that nothing should cross on either side, as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) sanction is still in place.
He emphasized that the authority of ECOWAS has not changed its position regarding the closure of the border with the Niger Republic.
He urged the officers to ensure effective policing of the border, saying they are being watched, and if caught, no one will be spared because ensuring the full closure of the borders in their areas of responsibility is their duty.
“There seems to be an upsurge in smuggling of rice and narcotics. Some unscrupulous elements also try to smuggle arms. We have to have zero tolerance for the smuggling of rice.
“We must not allow them to sabotage our country. We must not let them affect our local currency. When we let them import, they put pressure on our currency. We must ensure food security by allowing rice to be produced in Nigeria,” he said.
CG Adeniyi tasked officers and men of FOU Zone B to get the support of communities in border areas to avoid smuggling into the country.
According to him, two months ago, they reviewed their operation strategies for a successful operation.
He commended the Comptroller of FOU Zone B, officers, and men for the seizures the command has made so far under his watch, describing it as commendable.
He said they are moving ahead to ensure the expansion of infrastructure at FOU Zone B for the comfort of their officers and men. He warned the officers and men to be professional in discharging their responsibilities.
On the upcoming promotion exams of the service, he advised those participating not to rely on godfatherism but to work hard, as only those who excel will be promoted.