By Ray Ugochukwu
In a swift move to checkmate cross-border crimes, the new Customs Area Controller (CAC), Sokoto/Zamfara Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service, Dr Musa Omale, has stretched out hands of collaboration to his Nigerien counterparts.
According to a statement by the command, signed by its Public Relations Officer (PRO), Abdullahi Tsafe Abubakar, Dr Omale while reaching out to Niger Republic Customs, also stressed on the need for synergy between the two neighbours for mutual benefits.
He also sought for the continuous support of traditional institutions along border areas.
The Area Controller, as stated in the February 16, 2023, statement, made the call while on a working visit to Illela border outstation recently.
It added, “While at the border, Comptroller Musa Omale, who was in company of his management team, received the Commissiaire Des douanes in charge of Birnin N’konni border, Colonel Muhammad Bashir and the paramount ruler of N’kwanni, His Royal Highness, Alhaji Muhammad Salifu Sardauna, Sarkin Birnin N’kwanni, at the Illela Border Outstation.
Omale in a group photograph with his hosts
“The Comptroller, who stated that the meeting was to consolidate on the existing relationship between Nigeria Customs Service and its Nigerien counterpart, stressed the need for the personnel of both countries to collaborate with each other in trade facilitation and intelligence-sharing so as to stem the tide of banditry and arms smuggling bedeviling the countries”.
Responding, the Commissaire Des douane of Birnin N’kwanni Border, Colonel Muhammadu Bashir, assured his host of his unflinching support towards trade facilitation and a safe border, the statement added.
On his part, according to the statement, the paramount ruler of Birnin N’kwanni, thanked the Area Controller for the warm reception accorded them, assuring that he would continue to promote peaceful co-existence between his subjects and Nigerian citizens accross the borders.
The CAC (r) receiving a plaque from His Royal Majesty
Comptroller Omale was also said to have had an interactive session with heads of government agencies operating at the border station where he solicited their cooperation to enable the Command discharge its mandate of revenue generation and smuggling suppression.
“In the same vein, the Area Controller paid homage to the district heads of Sarkin Gobir Na Gwadabawa, Sarkin Rafin Illela and Sarkin Yamman Kware. He elucidated to the royal fathers the need to support the Service to enable it meet up with its mandate of revenue generation to the Federation Account, which is used for infrastructural development and payment of salary by federal and state governments.
“He further pleaded with them to educate their subjects on the dangers of smuggling to the economy, requesting them to also warn them on aiding and abetting smugglers in their heinous act”, the statement added.
Omale and his team in a group photograph with the host community.
The royal fathers, according to Abubakar, a Deputy Superintendent of Customs (DSC), thanked the Area Controller and his entourage for the courtesy visit and assured the Command of their support.