The Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, on Monday gave out to its operatives the first batch of twenty out of the 50 Toyota Hilux vans that they have taken delivery of. The vehicles have been equipped for anti-smuggling patrols.
Mr. Aminu Dangaladima, the Deputy Comptroller-General, DCG (enforcement, investigation & inspection), disclosed this to newsmen at the Customs headquarters in Abuja.
Recall that the Federal Executive Council, FEC, last Wednesday approved the contract for the procurement of 68 new Toyota Hilux vehicles for the Nigeria Customs Service. According to minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, the purchase of the vehicles is meant to tackle the smuggling of rice into the country.
Aminu told newsmen: “We appreciate the support of President Muhammadu Buhari and wish to restate our determination to do all it takes to ensure the actualization of the Federal Government Agricultural Policy for National Food Sufficiency by crippling rice smuggling.”
“We are aware that apart from the 50 already supplied, approval has already been given for another 68 patrol vehicles in addition to 70 patrol vehicles being purchased for the joint rice task force.
“This unprecedented approvals making a total of 188 patrol vehicles in record time by the Federal Government is the needed motivation to go all out and win the war against smugglers.”
He added that, “For the avoidance of doubt, complaint traders have nothing to fear as our offensive will only be targeted at unpatriotic and non-compliant trans-border traders.
“In line with the directive of the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hammed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd), I urge all Customs Area Comptrollers to ensure proper use of the vehicles to root out smuggling activities in their Commands.”
The DCG, alongside other Customs officials, took journalist round to inspect and authenticate the functionality and soundness of the vehicles.
Asst. Compt. Kolade Kayode (Dep. National Coordinator, Strike Force) received the vehicles from DCG Aminu Dangaladima.
He called on Nigerians, and those at the border communities, to support the Service by providing information that will help nip smuggling in the bud.