The Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali has commissioned 18 Creek Patrol Boats in Port-Harcourt.
Speaking at the commissioning, Ali said the addition of the boats to the Service Marine arsenal at a time when more smugglers are running away from the heat on land to water is simply the right thing to do.
He said the event marks the beginning of a renewed offensive against those who chose creeks and waterways as safe haven for their illegal trade.
“The 18 creeks patrol boats, consisting of 9 logistic support boats and 9 gun boats whose parts are armored, should send clear signals to the criminals that the game is up. Unlike before, we now have boats with flat bottoms that can access the creeks even when the water has receded.
“In-line with Executive Order on Local Content of 2017, NCS tapped into the ingenuity of a Nigerian Company, SEWA to design, construct and build these edifices. As you can see, these boats are not only built with our weather and circumstances in mind they can compete with similar ones built anywhere in the world.
“The relationship between NCS and SEWA represents excellent examples of what Nigerians can achieve when we come together.
“I therefore commend SEWA for delivering on their promise and have no hesitation to recommend them to individuals or organizations that need what they are capable of producing.
“As we commission these boats which will be deployed for the Southern waters, (the Eastern and Western Marine Commands), I urge our Marine Operatives to use them judiciously in the interest of the nation.
“Let me state here that even with the best of working tools, NCS efforts will not yield maximum output, If Nigerians for which we work, do not give us needed cooperation. I therefore call on well-meaning individuals and organizations to give the Service credible information that will enable interception and seizures of smuggled items.
“To the members of the forth estate of the realm, the media, I thank you for your continuous support and urge you not to relent on your valuable job of informing, educating and entertaining the public. Together, we will succeed.” he said.