The Senate on Tuesday recommended the installation of long range cameras at border checkpoints across the country to check the activities of smugglers.
The upper chamber also recommended the use of scanners at all land borders and sea ports to stop prohibited products from being smuggled into the country.
The resolution followed the adoption of the recommendations of its ad hoc committee established in July to probe the alleged misuse of firearms by customs officers.
Chairman of the committee, Francis Fadahunsi (PDP, Osun East), presented its report at the plenary.
In the report, the committee recommended that Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) should adopt the use of modern technologies in order to make the work of its personnel effective in line with global standard practices.
It also urged the NCS to employ the use of helicopters to monitor activities of smugglers and the use of speed boats by officers of the customs in the riverine border communities.
The committee said auctioning of seized items should be done from time to time to avoid being liquidated.
In the report, the ad hoc committee blamed the comptrollers of customs in Idiroko, Katsina and Kaduna for not establishing mutual relationships between the area commands and border host communities.
It called on the Comptroller-General of NCS to remove and replace the three comptrollers for peace to be restored in the border communities.
“The Comptroller General of Customs should redeploy the Comptrollers of Kastina/Kaduna and Idiroko Area Commands, and appoint replacements who should establish a good community engagement programme. This will create a healthy relationship, make the Customs realise its mandate without being insensitive to the yearnings and aspirations of the people of the communities in the state,” the report said.
The committee also said there is a need to lift the 20 kilometres ban on sale of petroleum products in border communities.
“The Federal Government should lift the 20km ban on sales of petroleum products in border communities. This policy is a threat to peaceful coexistence, a denial of the people to belong to the larger Nigeria society and a serious cause of hardship in these communities.
“The Federal Government in making policies, should put into consideration the ancestral bond/relationship that exists between the border communities in Nigeria,” the committee said.
The ad hoc committee also urged the federal government to direct the Comptroller-General of Customs to reduce multiple checkpoints in all border communities.
It called on the Customs boss to conduct investigation into the alleged abuse of firearms by customs officers.
It further asked the comptroller-general to punish any of its personnel found guilty of misusing firearms at the country’s borders.
“Federal government should direct the Comptroller-General of Customs and others head security to reduce the multiple checkpoints mounted in the border communities. It will aid free flow of goods in and around the communities to the main town.
“Comptroller-General of Customs should investigate and review the border activities. Officers found guilty of abuse of firearms should be punished.
“Federal government should provide basic amenities for people in the affected border communities,” the committee’s report stated.
It also recommended that there should be recruitment of border community youth into the service.
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.Donate
TEXT AD: Call Willie - +2348098788999