Customs-Aided Smuggling: Urgent Investigation Needed

Report that drugs such as tramadol and motorcycles used by bandits and terrorists are being smuggled into Nigeria by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) is very unsettling and calls for urgent action.

Development Diaries reports that the Foundation for Investigative Journalism (FIJ), in its latest feature, revealed that hard drugs, including tramadol, are among the goods being smuggled into northern Nigeria by the NCS.

We recently reacted to FIJ’s report of how NCS bosses take bribes from smugglers and betray their colleagues, and now we are confronted with another revelation regarding smuggling of items to aid insecurity in the north.

How bad can it get?

What exactly is going on at the NCS? What is the Comptroller-General of Customs, Bashir Adeniyi, doing? How did the rot in the agency get so deep?

This is an unfortunate situation because this revelation would significantly undermine public trust in the institution tasked with ensuring the country’s border security and regulating imports and exports.

It would lead to citizens rightly questioning the integrity and effectiveness of the customs service, which could lead to a breakdown in law and order.

The knowledge that the NCS is aiding banditry would only worsen the already dire situation of violence and lawlessness in the country and embolden criminal elements to further engage in illegal activities, knowing that they have support from within government agencies.

There needs to be a reevaluation and overhaul of existing policies and procedures governing customs operations to enhance transparency and accountability.

Development Diaries calls on the Ministry of Finance, which is responsible for the supervisory oversight of NCS, and the NCS boss, Adeniyi, to initiate an investigation led by an independent body with no affiliations to the customs service or any implicated parties.

This investigation should look into the extent of the involvement, identifying individuals responsible, tracing the flow of smuggled items, and assessing the impact on national security.

Photo source:  NCS

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