The Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Adewale Adeniyi, has said effectively policing the land borders without strong presence at sea amounts to nothing.
Speaking in Lagos during a courtesy visit on the management of Naval Dockyard in Lagos, Adeniyi, said maintaining presence at see will reduce smuggling activities to the barest minimum.
He, however, reiterated the need for the service to fortify its presence in Nigeria’s coastal waters.
“If we block the land borders effectively and do not maintain a very strong presence on our territorial waters, smugglers will take advantage, so we also need to fortify and enhance our presence to checkmate those who may want to try smuggling through our waters,” the CGC stated.
The CGC further stated that the Nigerian Navy has the capacity and knowledge to maintain the NCS fleet of vessels.
He said, “We don’t need to establish a vessel maintenance unit; it’s capital intensive, but we have an agency of government that has the knowledge, capacity and willingness to assist us.”
“I have seen and marveled by the capacity that exists here in the Naval Dockyard and we believe that we could tap into that capacity and enter into some agreement with you so that you could manage the maintenance of our fleets,” he emphasized.
In response, the chief executive officer, Naval Dockyard Ltd, Rear Admiral Abolaji Orederu, maintained that the Naval dockyard has a significant role in vessel maintenance, repairs and even Shipbuilding.
“Naval dockyard is well positioned to take advantage of situations like this, and we see the Nigeria Customs Service as a powerful ally of the Nigerian Navy,” he said.
“The capacity is here and the excess capacity can be used to support other agencies, the larger maritime community and the shipping world as a whole,” he concluded.