Acting Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi MFR said the Service is currently reviewing the strategy of the Enforcement unit
He revealed this at a meeting with Patrol Heads of the Federal Operations Unit, Zone ‘A’, after rounding off his maiden visit to some Area Commands and other Customs Formations in Zone ‘A’.
According to him, one of the steps taken to effect change is the withdrawal of the operations of the CGC Strikeforce Team to strengthen the Federal Operations Unit.
“This is what many of us met when we joined the Service. It means that the major enforcement arm of the Service is now Federal Operations, so you will be held responsible for whatever happens around your jurisdiction.”
“You no longer have any other structure, of course. The Border drills are completely different. But within the Service, you are the number one Enforcement Agency and it is a huge responsibility given to you. I want to believe that you are up to the responsibility.”
“We were doing it before, so let me say that if there are any of these structures placed above your head or under you that are making seizures, they are not doing anything new because it is what you have been used to doing and it is what we are challenging you to do.” He stressed.
According to Ag. CGC Adewale, this will also mean that the checkpoints will be reviewed and reduced because there are so many expectations from the Service in line with global standards.
He also pointed out that there will be consultations with various Area Controllers to undertake a self-review of patrol operations. Some of the questions to be reviewed are, “What are those things that we can do differently? Which Agency or which Unit can we collaborate with? Can we work with the border Commands, those that are resident commands and mount a stronger position against smuggling?”
“What strength can we draw from synergy from other agencies of government? How can we make better use of intelligence in our operations? How do we cultivate them? How do we ensure that they serve our purpose and not the purpose of criminals? How can we integrate some little technological tools into our operations so that they will be technologically driven?” He asked rhetorically.
Similarly, he beckoned on the personnel to be more professional and conscious without compromising national security and always uphold the ethics of their profession in the discharge of their duties and outward appearance.
“Your Uniform is your Uniform and that is what you must wear; if you are in a difficult terrain, you put on the combat, you must not cover your face with glasses or tie your head with a turban, your Uniform must also have a name tag.”
Lastly, the CGC warned that operational vehicles must be appropriately marked and positioned at the assigned patrol points, “wherever your checkpoint is, your vehicle must be properly marked Federal Operations Unit; if your vehicle is not there nor marked, it is a violation of law.”