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Customs considers reopening shut posts to fight arms influx

06 November 2015, 10:01

Abuja - The Comptroller-General of Customs, retired Col. Hameed Ali, said the organisation would consider reopening the customs posts at Gamboru Ngala and Banki to fight arms influx and curtail insurgency.

Ali said this at the sideline of his courtesy visit to defence formations, including the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) and Nigerian Air Force and Nigeria Police on Thursday in Abuja.

The comptroller-general said that for customs to achieve its target, it needed the support of the military, police and intelligent agencies.

Ali said that smuggling of small arms and ammunition had to be prevented in view of the current insurgency in the country.

He said that the essence of the visit was to further strengthen synergy between the police, intelligent agencies, service chiefs and customs, to have a safer country and a viable economy.

Ali said that customs would consider reopening the border posts due to the request by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai.

"Why not, we will consider the post. We are here to know what their (military) challenges are, what they want us to do as much as we want them to do certain things for us.

"If the post will provide the enabling environment for people to operate, we will consider that.

"Small arms importation or smuggling is endemic; it is a problem to all of us and the military. We are doing everything to make sure we stop this thing.

"Our biggest problem is insurgence and this thing has gone beyond small arms; now people import big arms, machine guns, rocket propel grenade launchers through the ports and water side.

"So we have responsibility to stop this people from coming in; if we can reduce the number of arms that gets into the country, we can assure Nigerians that there will be safety by the security,’’ Ali said.

Also read: Customs explains mass retirement of officers

The customs boss called for the cooperation of the service chiefs to curb the influx of small fire arms and explosives across the over 4 000 kilometres borders in the country.

‎Ali requested for training of customs officers on aircraft surveillance piloting, security intelligence, maritime logistics and army cooperation from the service.

Buratai had requested for the reopening of the border posts at Gamboru Ngala and Banki to clear the activities of insurgence.

Buratai urged Ali to return customs post to other places that had been cleared of insurgents in ‎Borno, to boost soldiers' morale and support the fight.



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