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Comptroller General of Customs

The Western Marine Command of the Nigeria Customs Service yesterday handed over a total of 36 live African Grey Parrots to officials of the Nigerian Parks Service at its headquarters located at Coconut, Olodi-Apapa Lagos.

The Customs Area Controller, Comptroller Odaudu Salefu said officers of the command had intercepted the endangered species being smuggled through the Badagry Creeks oversea, en route to Ghana.

The customs marine boss attributed the seizure officers and men’s dedication to duty, explaining that his officers intercepted the boat while on patrol at midnight on the waterway between Abongo and T-junction, a notorious stretch of the breakwaters adjoining the international waters.

Compt Salefu handing over documents to an official of the NPS

He said upon discovering the endangered species, he directed that they should be brought to the office, after which he contacted the NCS Headquarters and was granted approval for the handing over to the Nigerian Parks Service.

Explaining the interception, he said, “My officers on patrol stopped a boat at about twelve minutes to one am on Tuesday. On moving closer they heard the sound of birds. A mini search was conducted on the boat, and they discovered it was carrying live African Grey Parrots. You are aware that Nigeria is a signatory to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), we cannot watch some unscrupulous traders send our animals into extinction.

“We apprehended them and brought them to the office here. After careful counting, we discovered they are 36 live African Grey Parrots heading to Ghana according to the confession of the suspect.

“That was why we invited personnel of the National Park Service, all the way from Okomo National Park Benin City, who have the capacity and training to keep the birds. On behalf of the Comptroller General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi MFR, I handover the 36 parrots to the representatives of the Nigerian Parks Service to do the necessary things within the law and the schedule of the CITES which Nigeria is signatory to since 1974.”

He called on well-meaning Nigerians to join the Service in the fight against illicit trade while stating that the Command will explore its vast intelligence network to continue to frustrate the antics of economic saboteurs and undesirable elements engaged in all forms of smuggling.

Representative of the NPS, Deputy Park Warden, Muinat Adebaye speaking thanked the customs service for the collaboration. The NPS Official explained that after they have observed and stabilized the birds, they will release them into the ecosystem.

“On behalf of the Controller General of Nigeria Parks Service, Dr. Musa Ibrahim Goni, l DPW Adebaye representing my CP from Okomo Park wish to appreciate the Nigeria Customs Service for this great synergy in bringing back our faunas to be taken back into the ecosystem.
“We sincerely look forward to more future collaboration.”

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