…As Egbudin intensifies war against Ebola
In furtherance of its determination to ensure a bleak yuletide for smugglers, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has deployed more men and patrol vehicles to the Seme Border area.
The gesture which is seemingly paying off, has already resulted in enhanced revenue, as the Seme border command records a total of N963,796,422.32 as revenue for the month of September 2014; amounting to the command’s highest monthly collection so far achieved between 2013 and 2014.
The Customs Area Controller of the command, Willy Egbudin, who disclosed this to the Maritime First also said he was working towards directly harnessing available logistics along the border lines, including even, the non motorable areas.
“These patrols and other anti smuggling activities are paying off”, he explained, noting that unrepentant smugglers were already fleeing his jurisdiction, for other areas in an attempt to explore new modes of survival, per-adventure, they might likely meet milder resistance.
”In line with my CGC’s zero tolerance for smuggling, we are leaving no stone unturned in ensuring that Seme Border becomes and remains a no go area to perpetrators of smuggling and other unlawful activities.
“Seme will continue to be unsafe for smugglers, as we are increasing our intelligence on a daily basis on their movements which we also share with other commands to achieve the same goal” Egbudin said, stressing that the command would keep the current tempo up, into and beyond the forth coming yuletide season.
“Our close tie with the border communities under a reinforced Customs Community Relations Forum will be sustained as we are employing enlightenment and persuasion as tools for zero casualty in achieving our anti smuggling drive.We are happy that some traditional rulers, community chiefs,youth leaders and residents of border communities are remarkably, cooperating with us in the strive to protect our national economy and ensure security of our people”, he highlighted.
Responding to a question, the CAC said the officers and men of the command were also taking direct measures to ensure that the dreaded Ebola virus was not allowed entry through the Seme border, hence the increasing efforts, remain alert for it too.
“Pursuant to an earlier directive by the Comptroller General of Customs, Abdullahi Dikko Inde, CRF that all customs commands and formations join in the national fight against Ebola, our operatives are already working with the basic anti Ebola protective gears
”We are in close liaison with the Port Health Service,other government and non government bodies to sustain Nigeria’s Ebola free status; in addition to the regular check of travellers and traders moving along our border route, we also ensure that our operatives adhere to all anti Ebola directives.”
”Our vigilance against Ebola is premised on the fact that Seme Border is the busiest land frontier in West Africa with the highest movement of persons in and out of the evolving mega city of Lagos. We are not taking chances” Egbudin concluded, reiterating that the command’s functions now primarily consisted of suppressing smuggling,collecting revenue, facilitating legitimate trade and helping the country achieve its ebola-free goal.