Compt. Sarkin Kebbi, the Comptroller of Western Marine Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) in Lagos, said smuggling activities had reduced on the nation’s waterways.
Kebbi told newsmen on Wednesday in Lagos that this was because the command adopted fresh strategies to achieve the feat.
The comptroller said the command adopted a tripartite arrangement that involved officers’ motivation, partnership with the coastal communities and liaising with sister agencies to bust smuggle syndicates.
“The cooperation led to marked improvement in the anti smuggling activities, leading to seven seizures of goods with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of over N26.9 million in the first quarter of this year.
“The command does not negotiate with smugglers as officers go all out to combat them in the creeks and waterways.
“The service is still not resting on its oars as seizures will continue to take place as long as smugglers continue to take goods through the waterways illegally,” Kebbi said.
According to him, the command has been successful in anti smuggling due to the Controller-General’s wealth of experience in enforcement activities.
He said he boosted the morale of the officers and men by creating different patrol teams code-named ‘Operation Total Blockage’ and the ‘CAC Headquarters Surveillance Team’ that patrolled the waterways on a 24 hours basis.
Newsmen report that the goods seized included 195 bales of second hand clothing with DPV of N16 million.
The others are: 170 kgs of vegetable oil and sugar of N2, 363, 946 DPV and 100 bags of foreign parboiled rice of 50 kgs each worth N1, 237, 469.01.
Also, seized were 170 bags of foreign parboiled rice of 170 kg each of N2, 103,697.38 DPV, frozen products of N324, 000.00 and 200 bags of foreign parboiled rice of 50 kgs each of N2, 474,938 DPV.
The command’s operational area covers the whole of the South west and extends to the North West region of the country.
Its outstations are located in Idi – Iroko, Ijora, several creeks in Badagry, Yekeme, Bar Beach, Igbokodo and Yauri in Kebbi State.