By; RAYMOND TEDUNJAYE, Lagos
A change of baton has occurred at the Western Marine Command, Lagos, of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), as its out going Controller, Comptroller Sarkin M. Kebbi handed over to his successor Comptroller B.N Binga.
Binga,described as another anti smuggling Czar, Comptroller was in charge of Administration, Zone ‘B’, Headquarters in Kaduna until his new posting to the command.
Speaking at the handing over ceremony, the out-going Controller urged the officers and men of the command to extend the good working relationship he enjoyed to his successor.
Kebbi, who made mice meat of smugglers during his tenure, pointed out that his work was made easy due to the diligence, dutifulness and good working relationship of his subordinates.
through the war against smugglers, to also extend same to Comptroller Binga the new Customs Area Controller of the Command order to write their names in gold, as their stewardship to building a robust economic stability in the country.
Comptroller Binga, who joyfully appreciated the good record of Comptroller Kebbi commended his high level of achievements as well as the officers who did not let him down during his tenure.
The new controller promised to follow the footsteps of his predecessor and do more to achieve tremendous successes in the fight against criminalities and other vices inherent at the creeks.
He however, urged the officers to be more dedicated, committed in the discharge of their duties without compromise, warning that indiscipline will not be entertained.
Binga reminded the officers and men of Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd) mandate, saying it is harped on the total demolition of smugglers strongholds through the utilization of every necessary and available tools, which is key to economic developmental growth.
A released statement that emerged from the Command Public Relations Officer, ASC1, Emmanuel Tangwa informed our Correspondent of the various activities at the Badagry, Yekeme and Idiroko creek axis, of the items impounded by the Comptroller Binga led Anti-Smuggling operatives on routine patrol check.
According to him, they include 806 compressed wraps suspected to be Cannabis (Indian Hemp), 800 bags of foreign parboiled rice of 50kg each intercepted along Badagry creek and 15,000 kegs of 30 litres each of Petroleum Motor Spirit (PMS) which amounted to 450,000 litres, which has been auctioned to the general public.
Tangwa added that during the raid, suspects in connection with the intercepted products on sighting the operatives jumped into the river to escape from being apprehended.
According to the statement, the intercepted products had an estimated Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N81,080,000 (Eighty one million and eighty thousand naira only), recorded within 30 days of Comptroller Binga’s assumption of office within the period under review.
The new Controller, while condemning the spate at which smuggling activities thrive between the Nigeria/Benin Republic border posts, said it is worrisome and needed to be quickly addressed.
He seized the opportunity to solicit for useful information and intelligent gathering from stakeholders against any suspected move, as well as the media whom he believed would be of great assistance, since they are the watch-dog of the Maritime Industry.
While noting that though smugglers currently operate with different antics, he assured that they will surely be frustrated out of business.