*Says ECOWAS sanction still in place
*Warns officers, men against sabotage
The Comptroller General of Nigeria Customs Service, CG Bashir Adewale Adeniyi MFR, has tasked officers and men of the Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone B to effectively police the country’s border with Niger Republic, warning that nothing should cross on either side, as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) sanction is still in place.
CG Adeniyi gave the charge yesterday in Kadunà, during an interactive session with offices and men of FOU Zone B.
“The authority of ECOWAS has not changed position regarding closure of border with Niger. We must effectively police the border and ensure nothing crosses the border either inward or outward.
“I am receiving periodic reports of implementation and those few officers colluding with other agencies of government who may want to circumvent.
“You are being watched and if caught, no one will be soared. Work in ensuring closure of borders in your areas of responsibility,” he said.
Speaking further, he said that information at his disposal shows that there is an increase in smuggling of rice, hard drugs and arms, warning that such should be curtailed.
” There seems to be an upsurge in smuggling of rice and narcotics. Some unscrupulous elements also try to smuggle arms.
“We have to make zero tolerance for smuggling of rice. We must not allow them to sabotage our country. We must not let them affect our local currency. When we let them import, they put pressure on our currency. We must ensure food security by allowing rice to be produced in Nigeria,” he said.
CG Adeniyi tasked officers and men of FOU Zone B to get support of communities in border areas, to avoid smuggling into the country.
Speaking on the visit to FOU Zone B Headquarters, the CG said he was on working visits to zones, commands and units across the country.
“We thought it wise to come and see you in your working environment and see how you are faring.
“Futuristic of our operations, would include infrastructural provision of warehouses, armoury, parade grounds and other important facilities to ensure success.
“Some two months ago, we reviewed our operation strategies and came to conclusion that infrastructure is key to successful operations,” he said.
He commended the Comptroller of FOU Zone B, officers and men for the seizures the command has made so far under his watch, describing it as commendable.
On the welfare of personnel, he said, “we are ensuring those officers promoted receive all areas due. Officers covered by various benefits will also get entitlement when due.
“We are moving ahead to ensure expansion of infrastructure at FOU Zone B for the comfort of our officers and men,” he said.
He however, warned the officers and men to be professional in discharging their responsibilities.
On the upcoming promotion exams of the service, he advised those participating not to rely on godfatherism, but work hard as only those who excel will be promoted.
“We are approaching exam season,those eligible it is getting tight. The higher you go, the tighter it becomes. There are fewer vacancies for one star than two star, so not all will get promoted. It is your performance in exams that will determine your promotion.
“Competition will be fierce but it will be a healthy competition. Don’t call anybody to help with promotion exams, it will be very transparent. It will be a level playing ground for everybody,” he assured.