The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has concluded plans to partner with the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to curtail smuggling activities in the country.
To this end, the union said it has stepped up its inter-agency cooperation and the need to inform and educate the public on the merits of anti-smuggling operations of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone C, Owerri, Imo State.
The need to partner with NCS was made public when the Chairman, NUJ, Imo State Council, Sir. Innocent Igwe led other executives of the union on a courtesy visit to the new Customs Area Controller of FOU, Zone C, Comptroller Amajam Bukar in Owerri. Imo State recently.
At the meeting, Bukar who has already embarked on building strong partnerships with key partners of the NCS in the zone said that collaboration between the service and the union cannot be underscored.
The CAC explained that the service is empowered to suppress smuggling through the enforcement of government policies and does not engage in arbitrary seizure of goods and commodities that have fulfilled all legal requirements.
He noted that the activities of the service in the zone C are geared towards empowering the local economy.
Speaking on the antics of unscrupulous agents and importers who engage in acts to defraud the nation through smuggling, Bukar explained that operatives of the NCS in the zone will not be blackmailed to stop doing their jobs but would rather do more to enlighten and educate the public on our activities so that every citizen plays their part in bringing smuggling to its barest minimum.
â€œWe do not gain anything if a genuine importer suffers to import goods and it is impounded. It is not easy for an individual to raise resources, pay for visa, transport himself to buy goods and import them into the country and we just seize the goods. No! The service is not out to cause suffering. Rather we facilitate legitimate trade and alleviate any problems faced by compliant tradersâ€, he said.
Bukar explained that there are import prohibitions and restrictions, even as he called on the public to gain proper knowledge of import guidelines through the NCS website or make inquiries at any of its commands across the country.
He tasked media agencies to join hands with the NCS in educating the public on government fiscal policies.
Igwe who hailed the CAC and operatives of FOU, Zone Cfor their hard work and successes recorded in their anti-smuggling operations, welcomed him and pledged the support of the NUJ in informing and educating the public of the activities of the service.
He hailed the FOU, Zone C for their dedication to duty and immense contribution to economic development of the nation even as he also pledged that the union will through their different platforms carry out enlightenment activities on the dangers of smuggling to the nation.
L-R: Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Customs Area Controller, Tin Can Island Port Command, Apapa, Comptroller Bashir Yusuf; Chairman, Federated Maritime Media Chapel, Mr. George Umunakwe; and the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the command, Mr. Uche Ejesieme at a two-day sensitisation workshop for senior maritime journalists organised by FMMC in conjunction with the NCS in Lagosâ€¦recently