ANTI-SMUGGLING WAR: FOU Zone ‘A’ Receives 16 Operational Vehicles

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Federal Operations Unit Zone A Ikeja Lagos of the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, on Monday received to its operatives 16 Toyota Hilux vans that they have taken delivery of. The vehicles have been equipped for anti-smuggling patrols.

The acting Controller of the Unit, DC Hussein Ejibunu disclosed this to Newsmen at the headquarters of the Unit, as he took journalist round to inspect and authenticate the functionality and soundness of the vehicles.

Recall that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the procurement of 46 units of vehicles for operational and administrative use by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).

The Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Clem Agba, briefed Newsmen after a virtual FEC meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo recently at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The minister said that the vehicles would bolster the operational efficiency of the service and increase revenue generation. This was awarded to Messrs Elizade Nigeria Limited at the total cost of N1.5 billion and this amount is inclusive of the 7.5 per cent VAT.

“Recall also that the last set of procurement of vehicles that was done for Customs was in 2017 and 2020.

“And in 2020, we did see a whole lot of huge seizures that was made by the Nigeria Customs and also the performance in terms of revenue”

He said that as at August 2021, the NCS had over performed the prorated rate of the target that it was given.

“So, council believes that with the provision of these additional vehicles, it will also be enhancing not only their effectiveness but their efficiency and then, more revenue will be generated”

Ejibunu told Newsmen: “We appreciate the support of the Comptroller General of the Service, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd) and wish to restate our determination to do all it takes to ensure the actualization of crippling rice smuggling”

“This unprecedented approvals of these vehicles in record time by the CGC is the needed motivation to go all out and win the war against smugglers” Ejibunu said.

He added that, “For the avoidance of doubt, complaint traders have nothing to fear as our offensive will only be targeted at unpatriotic and non-compliant trans-border traders.

“In line with the directive of the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hammed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd), I urge all officers and men to ensure proper use of the vehicles to root out smuggling activities”

DC Ejibunu has habitually directed and challenged formations across his Zone to sustain onslaught against all shades of criminals and these newly received vehicles will be put to full professional use to carry out the CGC’s directive, towards negating smuggling activities.

He called on Nigerians, and those at the border communities, to support the Service by providing information that will help nip smuggling in the bud.

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