By Chinonye Anyatonwu
The Customs Area Controller of Seme Command of the Nigeria Customs Service,(NCS) Comptroller Mohammed Bello Jibo has said the responsibility of the NCS and other agencies within the nation’s border stations is to ensure that national security, citizens safety and well being remains a priority in both trans border trade and movement of goods and people.
Compt.Jibo stated this when he played host to the International Security Management Course 3 Students of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs last week.
He noted that the NCS is committed to ensuring that peace and stability forms the fulcrum of all daily activities within the Seme border axis.
Showing the students and officials of the National Boundary Commission who were equally on oversight visit to the Seme border communities around, Compt.Jibo gave them a brief run through of what constitutes border security and management.
The students who were very proud of Jibo’s performances especially in the area of maintaining peace and stability within the Seme borders also presented him with a plaque for the Promotion of Peace and Stability within Badagry and Seme axis.
He explained certain deliberate actions that the leadership of the NCS graciously approved to promote and sustain peace in the area, which he said was in collaboration with sister security agencies.
Explaining on cross border trade, Compt.Jibo said, “Bilateral agreement has been signed between the Benin Republic and Nigeria. Customs as the nominated lead agency, have been organising meetings with heads of various communities, youth leaders and sister agencies.
“We have a very good relationship with the traditional rulers, elders and youth, we went round and found what they needed, some of them requested toilet facilities and we have provided them with the kind approval of our headquarters. We also provided public restrooms where travelers can have a stop-over and get refreshed.
There is also the Badagry United Football Club being facilitated by the Nigeria Customs, which have given everybody a sense of belonging leading to increased peace and harmony. We also facilitate the locals businesses except for illegal trade”.
On the inter-agency collaboration, he said, “We organize what we call SHOW OF FORCE where every agency within this axis contribute and nominate officers and men to participate, it has been very successful. The news of our synergy usually went round the entire borderline and its communities, indicating our readiness of securing the border axis”.
Disclosing further, the dividend of the synergy between sister security agencies is mutual operational support, adding that one of such happened on September 9, 2022, where the Nigeria Navy intercepted some smuggled rice through the waterways and immediately informed the Nigeria Customs Service, while the items were later duly handed over to the Seme Customs Command.
Compt. Jibo lamented that Seme border is porous and therefore requires technology driven surveillance system to enhance security and legitimate trade flow.
The Course Director and leader of the delegation, Mr. Kayode Bolaji, said the excursion was undertaken to achieve the exposure of the students into the security activities of the border and to understand some of the challenges being experienced by security organisations.
He said, “We are here on a Study tour, the theme for our program this year is, addressing issues of illicit arms smuggling and trafficking in persons, so, we decided to see for ourselves some of the activities and challenges our law enforcement agencies are facing.
“I think there are so many challenges, we have noted them and will report to chief executives of stakeholders’ organisation relating to border security”.
Compt. Jibo was accompanied in taking the Course 3 Students around by heads of other agencies in the border including Nigeria Immigration Service and the National Boundary Commission.
Illegal immigrant detector and cargo scanner was also among the critical infrastructure shown to the students.
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