The Western Marine Command (WMC) of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) says it will soon acquire two seagoing vessels to enable it combat smuggling on the water ways.
Compt. Sarkin Kebbi, the Area Controller of the command, told journalists in Lagos that the vessels were being acquired at the instance of the customs high command.
The customs chief said that the command would take delivery of the vessels namely “Customs Pride” and “Group of Nine” before the end of this year.
Kebbi said that there had been an upsurge of smuggling along the waterways due to the unrelenting efforts of officers manning the land borders in dislodging smugglers.
“We in the marine sector of the service are not resting too as our trained officers will all time give the smugglers a run for their money.
“The facilities, which will act as morale bolster for the officers, are at the moment being mounted with guns to avoid being hijacked by pirates on the high sea.
“The officers have been looking forward to the commissioning of the vessels to ease the inconveniences and risks they go through while chasing smugglers with sophisticated boats, “ he said.
The comptroller thanked the NCS Controller General, Retired Col. Hameed Ali, and his management team for their thoughtful decision, while warning smugglers to change their businesses to legitimate ones.
According to him, the officers will more than ever before quell any act of smuggling no matter how small.
He also solicited for the assistance of coastal communities in giving the service useful tips that could lead to bursting the crimes.