By Ifeyinwa Obi
THE Area Comptroller of Seme Command of the Nigeria Customs Service, Comptroller Willy Egbudin, has said that the global travelling and trading system if left unchecked, could seriously affect nations and the global economy.
Egbudin who chaired the flag off ceremony of Proactive Security Measures Towards National Security, convened by the Joint Border Security Meeting, JBSM, made this remark in his keynote address.
He explained that JBSM is an umbrella body of all the security agencies operating at the border, including the Nigerian Customs Service, Nigeria Immigration Service Border Patrol, Nigerian Army (242 Battalion and 15 FER), Nigerian Navy, Department of State Service, Nigerian Police Boder Patrol, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency and Standards Organisation of Nigeria, Federal Road Safety Corps, Port Health Service, Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Service, among others. The Customs chief pointed out that the increase in legitimate trade and travel across the border comes with a lot of economic advantage, even as he regretted that it had also been accompanied by cross border crimes.
His words: It is in the light of the foregoing that the security agencies at this border are collaborating for a coordinated management of Seme border security. To achieve this, we have been liaising also with our counterparts in the Republic of Benin as appropriate to curb cross border crimes. Investigation over time revealed that a major catalyst in these cross-border crimes can be traced to the means of transportation, which in this case involves the use of motorcycles/tricycles. It has also been observed that motorcycles/tricycles could be used to meander through alleys and narrow parts to circumvent security agents.”
Egbudin added that the command had received reports of unsuspecting travellers and motorists being dispossessed of their valuables by criminals posing as commercial motorcyclists. He said that as a result, operational activities of commercial motorcyclists and tricyclists at the Seme border and its environs have been restricted to between 6:00am and 10:00pm.
Defaulters will be arraigned accordingly as the security of the nation is paramount. Nigeria is passing through serious security challenges that require the collective effort of all citizens. Instead, concerted effort of all will be required to protect the nation,” he added.