In a bid to ensure the eradication of incessant clashes between the personnel of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and the citizens at the border regions in Ogun State, the newly appointed Customs Area controller, CAC, Ogun 1 Command, Comptroller Dera Nnadi has promised to synergize with the Ogun state government.
According to the Customs Area Controller, the synergy would help to facilitate trade and also promote peaceful coexistence between the people and Customs officers.
Comptroller Nnadi gave this assurance when he paid a courtesy visit to the Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun at his office in Okemosan, Abeokuta, last week.
The Customs boss who described the state as an important one as a gateway to the nation’s economy and also a trade route that cuts across the country.
Describing Ogun State as the fourth largest contributor to the nation’s Gross Domestic product (GDP), Nnadi noted that Idi-Iroko has served as a trade route between Nigeria and Benin Republic for long, but he regretted that it has become a war zone as a result of smuggling activities.
He stressed that although he was in the State to enforce the Federal Government policy, he was also ready to change the negative narratives by ensuring that his men observed the rules of engagement by exercising restraint when dealing with people and cautioned against unruly behaviour from the people against Customs men to forestall skirmishes.
The Custom boss assured that his command would work with the State government by not allowing any incursion into the nation’s territory, calling on the state government to look in the Igholofi issue as it has not been resolved.
Nnadi explained that the reason behind the visit was to intimate the governor about his plans and to seek for his cooperation and collaboration to put an end to the sour relationship between the customs personnel and the people of the state
Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun in a response called on men of the Nigeria Customs Service, to discharge their duties with human face by being civil when dealing with members of the public
Abiodun argued that it is only when the Custom officers treat people with dignity, that they would cooperate with them.
“Please find a way to discharge your duties with human face. Be civil when you are dealing with the people to minimize lose of lives. It is only when you treat people with respect that they will cooperate and give you support that you need to carry out your assignment.”
“You cannot engage in shooting in the markets or on the roads which in must cases result to death and expect the people to cooperate with you. This actions lead to mistrust. People are going through hard times and there is pent up anger everywhere. So our law enforcement agencies need to exercise restraint when enforcing the law,” the Governor said.
Abiodun noted that people in the border areas have lived and engaged in trans border commercial activities for long, saying that some recent policies of the Federal Government which the Nigeria Customs are expected to enforced, have led to skirmishes between the Customs and the people, which usually resulted to casualties.
Speaking on the incursion into Nigeria by one of her neighbours, the State helmsman said the State has met with the Attorney General of the Federation and Office of the Vice President which is in charge of border matters on the issue, stating that it was imperative to put a stop to frequent harassment of the people of the State by foreigners.
The governor assured the customs boss of his utmost support as part of the vision of the current administration at the gateway state in achieving a proactive security arrangement for the safety of people working and living in the state being the industrial hub of the nation.