Senate Demands Sanctions For Customs Officers Misusing Firearms At Borders
The Senate has condemned the misuse of firearms by personnel of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) at the nation’s borders and demanded appropriate punishment for those involved.
The Senate also called for a reduction in the number of NCS checkpoints in border communities to facilitate the free flow of goods.
During Tuesday’s plenary session, the Senate adopted the recommendations of an ad hoc committee set up four months ago to investigate allegations of firearm misuse by NCS personnel.
The committee’s report, presented by Chairman Francis Fadahunsi, highlighted the need for immediate action to address the issue.
“The Federal Government should direct the Comptroller-General of Customs and other heads of security agencies to reduce the multiple checkpoints mounted in border communities,” Fadahunsi stated.
“This will aid the free flow of goods in and around the communities to the main town and around the markets in the border communities.”
The Senate specifically directed the Federal Government to instruct the NCS Comptroller-General, Bashir Adewale, to reduce the number of checkpoints in Katsina State to enable the smooth movement of goods in and out of the communities.
Additionally, the Senate called for the redeployment of the NCS controllers in Katsina and Idiroko, urging the Comptroller-General to adopt modern technology in the discharge of the agency’s mandate.
“The Comptroller General of Customs should investigate and review the alleged issuance of unofficial receipts to traders and non-traders in Jibia and Mai’adua, Katsina State, by officials of Customs and other security agencies,” the Senate recommended.
“This act has caused untold hardship to people living in these communities, as moving of goods (farm produce) across major markets and even to Katsina town and other neighbouring states is a herculean task.”
The Senate also urged the Comptroller-General to redeploy the Comptrollers of Kastina/Kaduna and Idiroko Area Commands, recommending the appointment of replacements who would establish a robust community engagement programme, adding that it will create a healthy relationship and make the Customs realise its mandate without being insensitive to the yearnings and aspirations of the people of the communities in the state.