Two more ocean going vessels are being acquired form Singapore by the Nigeria Customs Service to beef up its anti smuggling operations in the waters.
The Area Controller of the Western Marine command disclose today that the two vessels lying fallow on the lagos marina will also become operational before November runs out.
He said the Comptroller General, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, MFR has made provision of logistics a priority for the command.
According to him, since he came on board at the command, 15 gun boats have been given to it , noting that the first command the customs boss visited after his appointment was the Western marine command.
Salefu noted that with the vessels being acquired, the command would need more technical personnel to man them. At the moment, the command has just 180 staff, adding that a vessel would be able to be manned by 25 staff and with more than four vessels, it would mean more personnel.
The Command’s warehouse is being filled up by seized foreign rice indicating that the command is putting all efforts to ensure that prohibited items do not come into the country.
The Controller thumbed up his workforce on the seizures of several thousands of Packets of indian hemp, mostly coming from Ghana and other countries in the sub- region.
Reminded that the Western marine command is like a dumping ground to punish officers who are not favoured by the system, he saw it differently saying he and his men have made a lot of impact since they took over. He said he has never been refused anything he requested from the Headquarters in Abuja.
According to him, he is a product of Abuja having stayed in the SRR&P for long.
At the moment, he said the Comptroller General has approved senior staff accommodation for officers and they are being delivered. There is also a medical unit, well equipped. ‘We are now receiving attention ‘ He stressed.
On the two vessels– African pride and Group, he said as at 2021, more than N23 million was the contract cost of the maintenance but noted that the contract was re-awarded to same Port Plus.
As the vessels would soon sail, 80 officers are being trained for various operations on the vessels.
At the moment, 3 personnel are in Singapore to get preliminary training.
‘Presently, we go up to 140 nautical miles, when the two ocean going vessels are ready, we will be able to do 300 nautical miles and our anti smuggling operations will improve drastically “