COVID 19: Ali Impressed By Officers Performance
By Suleiman Umaru
Hameed Ali, a retired Army Colonel and Comptroller General, Nigerian Customs Service, NCS, is a happy man .Ali’s source of happiness was informed by the fact that the Zonal Coordinators of the Border Drill sectors in various parts of the country and Comptroller General of CGC, Strike Force who are on essential duties including the Customs Area Controllers are making spectacular seizure of Contraband despite the risks in their respective locations.
From Lagos, Owerri, Ilorin, Kaduna, to Katsina, President Muhammadu Buhari, home state, the story was the same: Spectacular seizure of Contraband by the Area Commands, the Border Drill and the CGC Strike Force , including officers and men of the Federal Operation Unit, FOU, across the country
Many had expected the Customs personnel in their various locations to relax in their discharge of their official duties at the seaports and border areas across the country because of the Coronavirus disease which had become pandemic. Investigations by The Value News shows that instead of the deadly disease described as dangerous by the Katsina state born Nigerian President, forestalling the Operations of the various Customs Teams on essential duties from doing their work, they are making more seizures of the Asian country of Thailand par boiled rice and the Malaysian processed vegetable oil smuggled into the country through unapproved routes including poultry products.
Joseh Attah, a Deputy Comptroller and the Customs Spokes person disclosed that the interception of Contraband by the various adhoc Teams on essential service throughout the country became more manifest three days into the lock down of the economies of Lagos, Ogun and the Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory of the global disease.
Attah had said that the Custos Comptroller General became convinced that the Commands and the adhoc Teams are making exploits based on reports reaching the Headquarters which indicate that the Operatives had risen to the challenge of their Professional calling by keeping the seaports functional.
He noted that the rigorous patrol of the sea, and the Creeks by officers and men of the Western and Eastern Marine Command with their anti-smuggling vessels, MV. Pride and MV . Group of Nine, respectively had curtailed the activities of the waterways smugglers to the barest minimum.
Attah who could not hide his feelings had said that the country waterways and land borders needed to be regularly patrolled , noting that whatever activities that goes on in these areas also affect the national economy. According to him, the country needed to be protected from these economic saboteurs operating from the sea, Creeks and land border areas. He fears that that the economic saboteurs may want to take advantage of the COVID19, which had become a global health and security challenge to smuggle in items that would further complicate country health and security situation.
Appealing to the Customs personnel to know that this is a trying and difficult times in the nation’s history to discharge their onerous responsibilities at the ports and land border areas, he noted that “this is the time that Professional calling as security agents puts them on the line despite the risks”.
Given the Contagious effect of the Wuhan of China grown Coronavirus, he had advised the Operatives to abide by the Chikwe Ihekweazu, Director General of Nigerian center for Disease Control, NCDC, preventive measure of social distance, as well as maintain regular washing and sanitizing of hands. Also, he would the officers both at the ports and the land border areas to comply with other preventive measures of contacting the disease recommended by other Medical experts.
The Customs Comptroller General have a word of advice for importers with their agents coming to the ports to ke delivry of their cargoes to cooperate and adhere strictly to the preventive measures put out at the various Customs Commands.
At present,the NCDC, had confirmed that no fewer than 184 people had contacted the disease as at Wednesday, April 2, 2020. Aware of the rate of recovery in China and other parts of the world, Ali had prayed for the quick recovery for the COVID 19 victims who are undergoing treatment in different parts of the world.
1.poultry Products Seized By FOU, Zone A, Lagos
2.Hameed Ali: CG , Customs