Abeokuta – The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), has solicited the cooperation of Ogun government in its anti -smuggling campaign in the state.
The Comptroller-General of the NSC, Col. Hammed Ali (rtd.) made the appeal on Thursday in Abeokuta when he visited Gov. Ibikunle Amosun.
Ali, who was on a tour of customs formations in the state, said that such synergy had become necessary to strengthen the anti-smuggling campaign of the service.
He noted that the Nigerian government had lost considerable revenue to smuggling while the service had continued to lose its personnel to smugglers almost on daily basis.
The NSC boss urged the government to dissuade youths particularly those at border communities from engaging in smuggling.
“Many of the youths at border communities have erroneously taken smuggling as a way of life.
“The government need to educate them through traditional rulers in such areas on the criminality and dangers associated with such nefarious business,” he said.
Ali, who expressed regret that revenue from foreign trade had declined, expressed optimism that effective anti-smuggling drive could boost such earnings.
He pledged that the NSC would support all efforts at developing local industries, adding that the service could generate increased revenue on excise duties from such industries.
In his remarks, Gov. Amosun said that no country could develop without a vibrant and well equipped customs service.
He said that his administration had continued to sensitise the people on the illegalities of smuggling.
The governor, who pledged government support for the NSC, however, urged Ali to direct his men to exercise caution in dealing with members of the public, particularly market women.
He expressed dissatisfaction with the attitude of some customs personnel, who he accused of entering market stalls to confiscate textile materials claimed to had been smuggled without thorough investigation.
Amosun assured Ali that construction work on the 110 km Ilara-Ijohun-Tata-Egua-Ipokia road was partly aimed at discouraging smuggling in the state.
He added that on completion of the road, NCS officials would have opportunity of mounting check points at different points. (NAN)