Customs Commissions 18 patrol boats to fight smuggling… hails new port scanning machine – :::… The Tide News Online :::…
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has fielded 18 patrol boats to combat smugglers who terrorize the southern, eastern and western waterways of the country.
The Comptroller General of Customs, Hameed Ali said as much during the commissioning of SEWA West Africa built and built boats in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Ali said the boats, which include nine gunboats and nine logistics boats, were serious signals for criminals.
According to him, the boats, which have high functionality, are an addition to the Service’s naval arsenal at a time when smugglers are fleeing the heat ashore.
“I feel very happy to be with you and, more importantly, to commission the 18 creek patrol boats.
“Adding these boats to the Service Marine arsenal at a time when more smugglers are fleeing the heat of the land to the water is simply the right thing to do.
“This event undoubtedly marks the beginning of a new offensive against those who have chosen streams and waterways as a refuge for their illegal trade.
“The 18 cove patrol boats, consisting of nine logistic support boats and nine gunboats with armored parts, should send clear signals to criminals that the game is over.
“Unlike before, we now have flat-bottomed boats that can access creeks even when the water has receded.” Ali said.
The Comptroller General noted that NCS enlisted the ingenuity of a Nigerian company, SEWA, to design, construct and construct the buildings in accordance with the Local Content Executive Order 2017.
“As you can see, these boats are not only built with the weather and circumstances in mind, they can compete with similar boats built all over the world,” he said.
He took the opportunity to acknowledge what cordial relations can lead to in Nigeria.
“The relationship between NCS and SEWA represents great examples of what Nigerians can achieve when we come together.
“I therefore commend SEWA for delivering on its promise and have no hesitation in recommending it to individuals or organizations that need what it is capable of producing.
“As we commission these boats, which will be deployed for Southern Waters (Eastern and Western Maritime Commands). I urge our Marine Officers to use them wisely for the benefit of the nation “, did he declare.
Ali, however, noted that even with the best working tools, NCS efforts will not yield maximum results without the cooperation and commitment of Nigerians.
At the port of Onne, where he inspected a scanner machine recently acquired by the federal government to help inspect cargo, Ali said the scanner would facilitate trade and reduce the problem of importing contraband goods.
He said the scanner machine would reduce costs and time spent on container inspection.
By: Chinedu Wosu