By; RAYMOND TEDUNJAYE, Lagos
In an avowed determination to frustrate smuggling activities on the waterways ahead of the Easter celebration, the Western Marine Command, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has commenced 24 hours routine patrol of the creeks.
Public Relations Officer of the command , Emmanuel Tangwa told journalists in Lagos shortly after the destruction of frozen poultry products intercepted by officials of the command.
Tangwa said the Command Area Controller, Comptroller B.N.Binga has ordered operatives to intensify efforts to nip smuggling at sea in the bud despite shortage of patrol boats and other apparatus this festive period.
The command spokesman stated that daredevil smugglers have introduced night movement of contrabands into the country through the creeks, hence the need to patrol the waterways day and night.
Tangwa said operatives of the command intercepted poultry products at Harmony jetty in Badagry on Monday, while the seizure of the same commodity, last week was intercepted along Afowo waters.
According to him, the Area Comptroller has empowered out stationed personnel of the command to ensure resistance and continuous surveillance at sea, adding that smuggling of parboiled rice within the creeks have reduced tremendously.
Tangwa maintained that despite limited equipment at their disposal , officers and men are ready to fight smugglers and smuggling activities to the barest minimum.
He stressed that”We realise that during this festive period,a lot of activities will be happening at sea and the controller has emphasized that patrol of the waters must be 24hours.
Tangwa quipped by saying” So our patrol teams have been energized, ensuring that any illicit goods on waters are impounded.
The image affirmed that “Because of this festive period,smugglers have seen that its a period for them to make money but unknown for them our officers are there and that is why within these few days we were able to make such seizures.
According to him, management of the service has been able to boost the moral of the officers, through repairs of the boats and other apparatus to enable them perform better at sea.