The Zonal Coordinator, Zone `A’ of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Assistant Comptroller-General Monday Abueh, has urged officers and men of the service to do thorough physical examination of goods to boost the security of the country.

Abueh made the plea during his familiarisation visit to the Customs Training School, Ikeja Lagos. He said officers must carry out physical examination of personal effects coming through the ports, land borders and air ports.

“There is a lot of insecurity in the system because people are carrying guns for many types of crime. “The service is of the view that it does not matter how long officers spend to examine a container for the sake of security.

“It is the officer’s duty to write an examination report on a particular container he or she is not satisfied with the examination. “This will enable the terminal operators to know that the container is having issues with clearance, journalists quotes Abueh as saying.

He urged officers to make use of the training school to improve their career as Customs officers, adding that when officers were posted to the training school, they perceived it as a punishment ground. Abueh said that he had never had opportunity to work in any of the Customs high-tech areas.

He said he started his Customs career in the training school, adding that he was able to acquire more expose for himself with the training he had passed through. Abueh said he had trained many officers and also developed himself through engagements as a resource person.

“If you do not have anything to do, you should engage in reading Customs books to broaden your knowledge on the job. “When I was posted to Delta State to manage Julius Berger operation for Customs in the 90s, I enrolled myself in a computer school to enable me collate their data as many as possible in a day.

“Officers were using manual operation to do the collation but it took time and I changed with the exposure I had from the training school,’’ newsmen quotes him as saying. Abueh said that diplomatic items were not to be examined, adding that general cargoes should be examined because many importers engaged in false declaration.

custom officers

In his opening remarks, the Commandant of the Customs Training School,  Ikeja, Comptroller Adekunle Oyeleke, decried the numerous challenges facing officers in the training school. Oyeleke pleaded with the Management of Customs to increase officers’ incentives to boost their morale and change their attitude to work.

“The training school has not been having much activity since we experienced fire out break and many of the classrooms have not been repaired. “We do not have sufficient power supply to run the training school and we also need Management’s attention to look for solutions to tackle the gully behind the clinic.

“Big erosion could affect the clinic building,’’ he said. An officer on training, who revealed his experience at the Apapa Command before being posted to the training school, said terminal operators sometimes failed to provide fork lift and the necessary equipment for officers to do their work.

The officer said that if the Customs officers on duty had access to such equipment, they would have discovered the 661 rifle discovered in the seized container.

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