…Acquires 50 patrol vehicles
Uche Usim, Abuja
The Comptroller General of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Hammed Ali has read the riot act to real and potential culprits to desist from smuggling as the service will deploy all available human and material resources to deal with them.
He also hailed President Muhammadu Buhari’s robust support to Customs’ operations as the management recently took delivery of 20 Toyota Hilux patrol vehicles (out of an order of 50) to battle smugglers, especially those involved in rice smuggling.
Out of the 50 patrol vehicles 20 of them that have been fitted with amber lights and other necessary gadgets, were issued on Monday to the Strike Force Team of the service.
Speaking in Abuja, Ali, who was represented by the Deputy Comptroller-General, Enforcement, Investigation and Inspection, Aminu Dangaladima, said that apart from the 50 vehicles already supplied, approval has already been granted by the Federal Government for additional 68 patrol vehicles.
This, according to him, was in addition to 70 patrol vehicles being purchased for the joint rice task force.
He said with the delivery of the vehicles, the service would do all that is required to ensure the actualisation of the Federal Government’s agricultural policy for national food sufficiency by checking rice smuggling.
“This unpresentable approvals making a total of 198 patrol vehicles in record time by the FG is the needed motivation to go all out and win the war against smugglers.
“For the avoidance of doubt, compliant traders have nothing to fear as our offensive will only be targeted at unpatriotic and non-compliant trans-border traders,” he said, while appealing to members of the border communities to support the service by providing useful information that would help to stop the activities of smugglers.
In his remarks, the National Coordinator, Strike Force Team, NCS, Assistant-Comptroller, Kolade Kayode said the acquisition of the patrol vehicles to the team would go a long way to check the activities of rice smugglers.
He said the team would do all it takes to ensure that the agricultural policy of the Federal Government was not compromised by smugglers.