May 19, 2024

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NIWA Pledges Collaboration with Customs to Check Smuggling

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L-R: Engr Sarat Braimah, Lagos Area Manager, NIWA, receiving in her office, Comptroller Oduadu Selefu of the Western Marine Command, Nigeria Customs Service

The Lagos office of the National Inland Water Ways, NIWA, has pledged to collaborate with the Western Marine Command of the Nigeria Customs Service, in the areas of safety and engineering support.

This was a sequel to the request by the Controller of the Western Marine Command, Nigeria Customs Service, Comptroller Oduadu Selefu when he made a courtesy visit to the Lagos Area Manager of NIWA, Engr Sarat Braimah.

Comptroller Oduadu Selefu said the nation has since been losing revenue from the notorious Seme-Badagry border axis due to the activities of smugglers.

Seletu said, “I am aware that something needs to give way here and I request your office to help us understand this Badagry-Seme route, so we can properly access what is happening there, and to ensure goods in transit are captured for Customs duties,” he explained.

He argued that to effectively check the smugglers, customs equipment must be top-notch, especially in preventing avoidable breakdowns at some high points of safety.

Water Guard operatives of the National Inland Waterways Authority, NIWA

Given the rationale for the request, Seletu pleaded, “we want our men on the water to operate within the best safety standards and we believe NIWA as regulators can brush us up and even help us take a second look at our boat engines, to avoid incidents of breakdowns in the middle of nowhere,” he said.

Responding to her guest’s request, the Lagos Area Manager of NIWA, Engr Sarat Braimah, assured the officer in charge of the Customs Western Marine Command that, NIWA would not withhold measures to enhance safety, security and in recouping revenues that belong to the national treasury.

Engr Sarat Braimah assured thus, “we shall assist you in the area of safety awareness and education and every other possible way that can make your assignment easy,” she said.

Braimah emphasized that NIWA in Lagos is open to collaboration, to help sanitize activities on water transportation on Lagos waterways.

Recall that the Western Marine Command of the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, on Wednesday 25th January 2023, received its substantive Area Comptroller, Odaudu Salefu, at a terse handing over ceremony at the command’s headquarters, Ibafon, Apapa, Lagos.

Comptroller Salefu called on Officers and men of the command to join hands with him to ensure the command continues to fulfill its mandate in an efficient and professional manner.

Salefu also enjoined Officers and Men of the Command to buckle up so as to improve on the existing tempo of the anti-smuggling operation and to build upon the achievements of the past administration.

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