The Nigeria Customs Service on Monday received the first batch of twenty (20) Toyota Hilux Patrol Vehicles that have been equipped for anti-smuggling patrols.
This first batch of vehicles is only part of the fifty (50) vehicles which the Service took delivery of.
The Deputy Comptroller-General (enforcement, investigation & inspection), Aminu Dangaladima disclosed this to newsmen at the Customs headquarters in Abuja.
It will be recalled that the Federal Executive Council last week Wednesday approved the contract for the procurement of 68 new pick-up operational vehicles for the Nigeria Customs Service.
The purchase of these operational “anti-rice smuggling” vehicles according to the Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun, is to check the persistent smuggling of rice into the country.
DCG Aminu said, “We appreciate the support of President Muhammadu Buhari and wish to restate our determination to do all it takes to ensure the actualization of the Federal Government Agricultural Policy for National Food Sufficiency by crippling rice smuggling.
“We are aware that apart from the 50 already supplied, approval has already been given for another 68 patrol vehicles in addition to 70 patrol vehicles being purchased for the joint rice task force.
“This unprecedented approval making a total of 188 patrol vehicles in record time by the FG is the needed motivation to go all out and win the war against smugglers.
“For the avoidance of doubt, complaint traders have nothing to fear as our offensive will only be targeted at unpatriotic and non-compliant trans-border traders.
“In line with the directive of the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hammed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd), I urge all Customs Area Comptrollers to ensure proper use of the vehicles to root out smuggling activities in their Commands”, he added.
The DCG then conducted reporters round the vehicles to inspect and authenticate its functionality and soundness.
The Assistant Comptroller (Dep. National Coordinator, Strike Force), Mr. Kolade-Kayode received the vehicles from DCG Aminu Dangaladima.
He appealed to the members of the public, especially the border communities to support the Service by providing useful information that will help nip smuggling in the bud.
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