The Senate has directed Comptroller-General of Customs Adewale Adeniyi to discipline any employees of the organization who are found to have improperly used guns at the nation’s borders.
This recommendation also included the placement of long-range cameras at border checkpoints across the nation to monitor the activities of individuals smuggling illegal goods into the nation.
Additionally, in order to prevent the smuggling of goods into the nation that are illegal, the upper parliamentary chamber suggested the installation of scanner technology at all land borders and seaports.
These were among the suggestions made and approved in the reports of an ad hoc committee that was set up in July to look into claims that Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) officers and personnel had misused guns.
At Tuesday’s plenary, Senator Francis Fadahunsi (APC, Osun East), the chairman of the ad hoc committee, delivered the report on behalf of other members.
“The Comptroller General of Customs and other heads of security should be directed by the Federal Government to reduce the multiple checkpoints mounted in the border communities,” Senator Fadahunsi emphasized. It will facilitate the unhindered movement of commodities from the main town to the surrounding communities.
“The Comptroller-General of Customs ought to look into and assess the operations at the border. Officers who are found guilty of mishandling guns ought to face consequences.
“Those living in the impacted border communities should have access to basic amenities provided by the federal government.”
The committee also suggested that young people from border communities be recruited to work in the service.
It went on to say that Customs should use contemporary technology to ensure that its employees are operating efficiently in accordance with international best practices.
The committee also recommended that the NCS use helicopters to keep an eye on smugglers’ movements and its officers’ use of speed boats in border settlements along rivers.
The research suggests that in order to prevent liquidation, seized items should occasionally be put up for auction.
The committee also held the customs comptrollers in Idiroko, Katsina, and Kaduna accountable for their inability to build rapport between their respective area commands and the host communities.
“The Comptroller General of Customs should designate substitutes who will implement a strong community engagement program and redistribute the comptrollers of the Kastina/Kaduna and Idiroko area commands.” The committee suggested that doing this would foster a positive working relationship and enable the Customs to fulfill its duty without disregarding the needs and goals of the State’s communities.
The federal government should remove the 20-kilometer restriction on the sale of petroleum products in border villages, according to the committee’s further suggestions. This approach denies the people’s right to be a part of Nigerian society, endangers peaceful coexistence, and severely impairs the quality of life in these areas.