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Customs: We can’t effectively police the borders with 15,000 officers

Customs: We can’t effectively police the borders with 15,000 officers
March 05
11:15 2021

The Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) says it cannot effectively police the country’s borders with 15,000 officers.

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Hameed Ali, the customs comptroller-general, was speaking on Thursday at the presentation of the service’s 2021 budget before the house committee on customs service.

NAN reports that the NCS proposed a budget of N242.45 billion for the 2021 fiscal year.

According to Ali, the problem of smuggling and arms proliferation being experienced in the country is due to porous and extensive border areas requiring security coverage.

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The NCS, however, said the three mobile scanners procured for it by the ministry of finance would further enhance its surveillance and security at the country’s borders.

Ali said it is worrisome that smuggling often happened in border communities where most of the residents had no feel of governance and therefore had no allegiance to the Nigerian government.

He said that those residents would rather be loyal to smugglers because of the lack of government presence in the border communities.

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“I feel their pain, in some cases, they have to cross the border to go to school and also fetch water because there is no government presence,” the CG said.

He said that the war against smugglers should not be left to the NCS alone, adding that other security agencies should be involved in the fight against smuggling.

On recruitment into the NCS, the CG said the service had not recruited in the past 17 years, adding that recruitment into the service was the prerogative of the president.

He said the NCS needs to recruit officers as there is a gap in terms of officers currently in the service.

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“There will come a time that there will be no junior officers again in NCS; we need more officers and this is why we embarked on the recruitment of 3,200 officers for which we have so far spent N40 million,” he said.

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