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Customs partner Navy to tackle smuggling

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The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has moved to strengthen collaboration with the Nigerian Navy to battle smuggling activities within the country’s territorial waters.

In a statement released on Saturday via X, formerly Twitter, the NCS Comptroller General, Bashir Adeniyi said during a Thursday visit to the Naval Dockyard in Lagos that the Navy can maintain the agency’s fleet of vessels for border patrols.

“We don’t need to establish a vessel maintenance unit; it’s capital intensive, but we have an agency of government that has the knowledge, that has the capacity, and there’s the willingness for them to assist us,” Adeniyi stated.

“I have seen and marvelled by the capacity that exists here in the Naval Dockyard, and we believe that we could tap into that capacity and enter into some agreement with you so that you could manage the maintenance of our fleets,” he emphasised.

He added that enhancing NCS presence in coastal areas is key to reducing smuggling, which smugglers may redirect through the waters if land borders are effectively policed.

“If we block the land borders effectively and do not maintain a very strong presence on our territorial waters, smugglers will take advantage, so we also need to fortify and enhance our presence to checkmate those who may want to try smuggling through our waters,” the CGC stated.

In response, Naval Dockyard MD, Rear Admiral Abolaji Orederu, said the shipyard is well-positioned to leverage its vessel maintenance and shipbuilding capacity to support NCS operations.

Both agencies described each other as powerful allies in the shared goal of securing Nigerian borders against illicit trade. The Customs CG emphasised his desire to finalise an agreement enabling the Navy to service NCS patrol boats and cutters.

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