The Nigeria Customs Service, southwest zonal office, has commissioned 21 blocks of two bedrooms flat for its officers in Lagos.
According to the service, the edifice is intended among other things, to solve the accommodation problems confronting its officers.
Located in a densely populated area of Okokomaiko, a Lagos suburb, the apartments would serve as a morale boost for officers in the fight against smuggling, the agency said.
In an interactive session with journalists on Thursday, the zonal coordinator, Assistant Controller of Customs, Katrene Ekekezie, said the project was part of the Controller-General’s three-point agenda of reform, restructure, and promotion.
“We are here to commission this lovely edifice that is meant for our officers,” Mrs Ekekezie said.
“The CGC is very much aware that to get the best out of your officers, you have to house them so that the high rent people are experiencing will not affect their capability in discharging their duty.
“For now, we could see the perimeter fence is yet to be done but soonest it will be upgraded, put a strong gate and post our officers to man it.
“For some time now, you won’t believe it that our officers sleep in the office and one of the reasons is lack of accommodation.
“Zone A alone houses more than three-quarters of the total workforce of the service. So we need more of this.”
Speaking further, Mrs Ekekezie said citing the accommodation in such community was to get closer to the people as a means to reduce smuggling as it serves as a route for smugglers.
“This will send a strong signal to them (smugglers) that now, we are living with you, just watch your back.”