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Onne Customs controller reads riot act to officers over illegal arms importation

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“The security and safety of our people is being challenged and the NCS has the role of ensuring that nothing that could hurt Nigeria’s security crosses the entry points into the country.

Tightens Cargoes Examination At Port

The Customs Area Controller, Port Harcourt Area II Command, Onne, Bashir Abubakar, has said that his command was on the red alert over the rising incidences of illegal importation of firearms into the country.

He said the command was alarmed at the interception of several caches of arms at the Tincan Island Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) for three times in the last eight months.

He disclosed this in an interview with journalists in his office at Onne Port Complex, Port Harcourt. Bashir said he had read the riot act to his officers to ensure that importers of the weapons do not succeed in getting them into the country through the Onne Port.

“Administratively, I am doing a lot to ensure that this command is not used by the illegal importers of arms and ammunition. “I have had meetings with all my key officers from the rank of Chief Superintendent and I used that opportunity to transmit the Comptroller General’s message to them.

“I read the riot act to them with regard to due diligence in our day to day activities, being very vigilant, using our eagle eye practically not just wearing it on our badges, to ensure that nothing escapes our notice.

“The security and safety of our people is being challenged and the NCS has the role of ensuring that nothing that could hurt Nigeria’s security crosses the entry points into the country.

“Professionally, we do random sampling through automation, checking what we assume we must give extra care about. Electronically, we check the information and we pencil down some of the information and put additional interest in examining imports to ensure that nothing skips us,” he said.

Bashir pointed out that he wants to leave a legacy of ensuring that officers operate under the highest level of discipline.

He commended the Comptroller General, Hameed Ali’s policy of rewarding officers with commendation or promotion for excelling in their jobs, saying officers are now motivated to discharge their duties effectively.

On compliance, he said customs officers under his command have increased their level of compliance aimed at enforcing all directives from the customs headquarters in line with the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA).

Meanwhile, following the serial importation of arms through the Lagos Port, the NCS has tightened its scrutiny by ensuring 100 per cent physical examination of all cargoes coming into the country through the Onne Port.

Bashir spoke at Onne Port yesterday while highlighting the activities of the command between January and September this year, adding the move was to prevent the movement of arms and ammunitions in the Niger Delta region.

“Port Harcourt Area II Command is a ‘no go area,’ because going by the trend of arms and ammunitions imported through the Lagos Ports, the re-examination of all containers has intensified and we will continue with that until further notice,” he stressed.



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