The Nigeria Customs Service, Western Marine Command, (WMC), on Tuesday said its officers seized 941 bags of rice estimated at N6, 830,791 being smuggled into the country.
The new Customs Area Controller, Comptroller Sarkin Kebbi, said in Lagos that the seizure was barely a month after he assumed duty at the command.
“As you are aware, I took over the helm of affairs in this command on Tuesday, 25th April, 2017.
“My first official assignment was on the 27th April, 2017 where I led a team of inspectors from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture delegated by the Office of the National Security Adviser to inspect a vessel, MV TEAM TANGO, that was arrested.
“The visit was embarked upon to take samples of cargo on board, PRILLED UREA, presumed to be used by terrorists to manufacture improvised explosive devices (IEDS).
“The Western Marine Command is an enforcement unit and its main function is to protect the water-ways, fight insecurity and combat smuggling.
“We have been able to make unprecedented seizures within 30 days in office across the South Western states and right up to Kebbi State in the Northern part of the country at different dates and times,’’ Kebbi said.
The CAC said that the achievement was borne out of the new approach to duty in the command by the officers and men.
He said that the goal of the command was to ensure that the waterways were safe from unscrupulous businessmen and women, whose activities endanger national security.
Kebbi said that realising the enormity of the task ahead, he intends to visit states, institutions and organisations within the command, in order to familiarise himself with the terrain and gather intelligence necessary for effective administration.
“This commenced on Tuesday, 16th of May, 2017 in company of my principal officers to Badagry and Yekemeh Stations.
“The tour extended to the paramount ruler of Badagry, Oba Akran of Badagry, as well as the Baale of Pashi, the head of Pashi community.
“Both monarchs received us warmly and I expressed my gratitude to them for their fatherly love and care for the officers,’’ he said.
Kebbi said that the task of nation building was a call to service, and therefore implored smugglers to change their business to legitimate ones.
According to him, there will be no hiding place for them any longer.