The Customs Area Controller (CAC) of Seme Border, Comptroller Mohammed Aliya, has said that his Command will ensure that the law against trans-border crime is enforced.
Speaking in an interview in Lagos, the comptroller disclosed that the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), being the lead agency at the ports, would continue to inculcate the spirit of synergy and inter-agency co-operation among relevant agencies at the land border, stating that NCS would continue to perform, among others, the statutory role of securing the nation’s busiest land border (Seme) from trans-border crimes that range from smuggling, drug-trafficking, human-trafficking, among others.
He noted that despite the challenges facing the command, it hopes to make the border more friendly.
Having taken proactive measures to eliminate all barriers that serve as impediments to effective trade facilitation via the ECOWAS protocol along the Lagos-Abidjan corridor, he promised to consolidate on the achievements of his predecessor by collapsing some operational structures along the busy land border.
He reiterated that the importation of vehicles and rice remain banned through the borders as the command was committed to partnering other government agencies to enforce restriction.
On trapped vehicles that could not meet the deadline of the policy pronouncement of the Federal Government, he charged the committee on the trapped vehicles to ensure proper documents verification and authentication of duty payment of each vehicle trapped in the Customs vehicle seat before release. He warned that smugglers must not take advantage of the exercise as the number of trapped vehicles in Customs’ custody was known to the Command.
On the low revenue generated in April 2017, which amounted to a total of N234,266,289.58, the CAC attributed the development to the persistent low level of economic activities despite the relentless effort of the command to create a conducive and an enabling trading environment for every legitimate trade.
He disclosed further that in order to ensure the standardisation of trade facilitation and protect the territorial integrity of the country, all incoming transport vehicles, with particular emphasis on luxury buses, must be subjected to scanning procedure as it was done with trucks and containers.