ABEOKUTA — NIGERIA Customs Service, Ogun State Command yesterday, said it was partnering with five neighbouring countries to check the influx of arms into the country.
State Controller, Haruna Mamudu, who disclosed this while giving the report of his command for the second quarter of 2014, said however, the command generated N1.654 billion this year as against N1.362 billion recorded within the same period in 2013.
Mamudu explained that the synergy with the countries had not only succeeded a great deal in fighting insecurity in the country, but also increased the revenue generation of the command within the period under review.
The partnership, through the ECOWAS Protocol Transit Trade on imported vehicles which was launched recently in Abuja, according to the Comptroller, had been gaining commendations from both sides of the divide.
According to him, “this was initiated by the Comptroller-General of Customs and what he did was to call other four Comptrollers-General of neighbouring countries (Benin, Chad, Cameroon and Niger) to see how vehicles can be checked by all the security agencies to, at least deter the influx of light arms into the country and at the same time improve the revenue of all the countries concerned.
“At the same time, it will reduce the number of casualties in both sides because if you go into the bush, we will not chase you into the bush. So, it has tremendously reduced the fight we used to have with smugglers in the bush, we’ve gotten thousands of vehicles from them because everyday they bring vehicles.
“The security agents, clearing and forwarding agents of both sides have been commending effort of the Comptroller-General of Customs for making the event possible.
“There has been astronomical increase in the number of vehicles handed over by Beninnoise Customs; this has also affected the revenue collection on imported vehicles.