Customs Forges Collaboration with Nigerian Navy to Combat Smuggling

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The Comptroller General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, paid a courtesy visit to the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla, to strengthen collaboration between the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and the Nigerian Navy (NN).

During the visit on Tuesday, 19 February 2024, at the Nigerian Navy Headquarters Abuja, the CGC reassured his commitment to enhancing the relationship between the two agencies for effective anti-smuggling strategies across Nigerian waterways.

He stated, “It is important for us to participate in joint operations to combat smuggling activities. We also need to tap on the experience of the Nigerian Navy to enhance the capacity of personnel serving within the Customs Marine Units.”

The CGC further highlighted the NCS’s possession of ocean-going and creek-going vessels in its fleets while stating the plan underway to transport the two ocean-going vessels to the Nigerian Navy Dockyard for maintenance.

“It is necessary for us to prioritize intelligence-driven operations. This could be achieved through intelligence sharing between the two agencies,” He emphasized.

Reacting to the Comptroller General of Customs, the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla, expressed gratitude for the visit and underscored the Nigerian Navy’s commitment to assisting in enforcing Customs laws. He stressed the importance of reciprocal collaboration and assured that Nigerian Navy training facilities would be made available to the NCS at no cost.

Vice Admiral Ogalla also addressed the need for deeper collaboration with an outfit of the Nigerian Navy meant for clearing items imported by the agency to mitigate all incumbrances.

He also shared a five-year-old Harmonized Standard Operating Procedure (HSOP) for monitoring maritime crimes and advocated for review considering the prevailing situation.

The meeting signifies a significant step towards enhancing maritime security and curbing smuggling activities along Nigeria’s coastal waters. The commitment to collaboration and mutual support sets a promising precedent for future joint efforts in safeguarding the nation’s territorial integrity.

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