The Nigeria Customs Service, Western Marine Command, has stressed the need for community relationship and information sharing among stakeholders and security agencies within the waterways , as part of efforts to curb smuggling at sea.
The Customs Area Controller, Comptroller Olugboyega Peters, who made this known at the weekend, during the destruction of the poultry products intercepted by his Command, urged smugglers to steer clear of his area as there will be no hiding place for them.
“My major interest is to embark on customs community approach because we cannot do it alone. We need all stakeholders to assist us to curb smuggling activities,” he said.
He recalled that the visit to outstations and villages within the creeks was a blessing in disguise, noting that stakeholders have promised to support collaborate with the customs in fighting smuggling at sea.
According to him, a total of 466 foreign parboiled 50kg bags of rice and 272 cartons of frozen poultry products were intercepted barely two weeks after he assumed office as the area controller of the command adding that an additional 120 pieces of wrappers and 240 yards of plain materials were also seized.
He said the seizures were made at Bera Creek in Adodo, Ogun State, Badagry waters, Yekeme waterways, T-junction and brought to the command for proper documentation and destruction in line with the laws and guidelines. The controller added that the seizures had a total of N13,032,350.00 as the Duty Paid Value (DPV).
Peters said his officers would increase their patrol on waters to prevent smugglers from accessing the markets through waters. He appealed to the public to embrace legitimate means of livelihood and to avoid smuggling of hazardous items that are inimical to attaining the vision of having a healthy and economically viable society.