By Eguono Odjegba
AREA Controller of the Nigeria Customs Service, Port Harcourt Area 11, Onne, Comptroller Danladi Saidu, has expressed the need for a stronger operational ties and collaboration between sister security agencies, especially at a time the present government has demonstrated sufficient desire to promote safety and cut down on crime rate including all forms of economic sabotage.
Saidu, who spoke at separate meetings with the newly appointed Commissioner of Police for Rivers State, CP Evelyn Peterside; Commandant Nigerian Navy Training College, Onne, Commodore CD Okehie; and the Unit Commander, Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, Eleme Command, Assistant Corps Commander Lilian Nwanne; said partnership between security outfits cannot be overemphasised.
A statement by the Command Public Relations Officer, Ifeoma Onuigbo, made available to Vanguard Maritime Report quoted the Onne Customs boss as telling his visitors that the NCS and the Onne Command in particular share a history of robust collaboration with the security outfits and other agencies of government in areas of joint operations and capacity development.
He said: ”As officers working for the Nigerian state in the area of security, we are like siblings, children of same parents who report to the same final authority. It is in our interest to work together as that is one of the keys to fighting insecurity.
“Our close collaboration will no doubt achieve a win-win situation for us as separate services, for the Federal Government who is our common employer and suppress all forms of crimes or criminality. In reality, we are members of one family manifesting in different colours because of division of labour. This personal relationship makes intelligence gathering and sharing very easy. While welcoming you to your new areas of posting, be assured of my support and cooperation on a round the clock basis whenever the need arises.”
While lauding the new shooting range at the Naval Training College, he expressed the hope that the facility will be of benefit to Customs operatives in their retraining sessions, especially on arms handling and shooting.
In addition, Saidu described the facility as very relevant to the improvement of maritime security which is sensitive to the country’s national economy while advising that cadets of the college be kept abreast with updates on related issues.
Responding, Commodore Okehie said that the Navy does not work alone as it strives to maintain ties with other security agencies. He also acknowledged the importance of Customs in maritime trade and economic security saying there are over 119 cadets in the training college, noting that one of their aim is to expose cadets to sister agencies.
On her part, CP Peterside said the Customs is significant in fighting economic crimes, and pledged to continue the relationship from where her predecessor stopped.
In the same vein, FRSC Elele Unit Commander, Nwanne pledged to help train the customs command drivers, the acceptable standards in road movement, uses and during emergencies.