By Lillian Chukwu Abuja
To address the lingering rice smuggling activities into Nigeria from other neigbouring countries, the Federal Gvernment has donated an additional 30 patrol vehicles to the Nigeria Custom Services.
The government had earlier issued the first batch of 20 Toyota Hilux patrol vehicles to curtail smuggling of prohibited items especially rice to the NCS.
Speaking at a press briefing yesterday in Abuja, Deputy Comptroller General of Customs, Aminu Dangaladima assured of his Command’s readiness “to deal ruthlessly with the enemies of Nigeria’s security and economic prosperity.”
He added that the vehicles will be dispatched to different Commands across the nation including Onne, Idi-araba, Seme and Yobe border points.
Dangaladima appealed to the general public, especially the border community dwellers to support the Service by providing useful information on smuggling activities around their communities.
“Let me at this juncture remind our officers who will use these vehicles of the Comptroller-General of Customs position on the proper use of the vehicles to achieve desired results,” Dangaladima said.
He assured that “with these vehicles, our response time at the scene of any smuggling activity will be swift and decisive.”
Head of Comptroller General Compliance team, Deputy Comptroller, Dahiru Abdullahi Kirawa pledged his team’s commitment to the CGC’s directive on reducing smuggling especially as related to the rice smuggling menace.
In his new year broadcast, President Muhammadu Buhari had noted that rice importation will become illegal in 2018 In the same vein, Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh had recently said that Nigeria will shut down the land border between Nigeria and a particular neigbouring country to avoid smuggling of foreign rice into the country.