By Eromoele Abiodun
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Seme Command has reclaimed the commandâ€™s land that has over the years been encroached on illegally by unscrupulous individuals.
Customs Area Controller Mohammed Aliyu made this known during an invitation to a round table discussion with the Ambassador of Nigeria to Togo, Mr. Joseph Olusola.
He said the NCS took the steps to give the Seme main border an international perspective/appearance.
â€œThe command with the consent of the customs headquarters is sanitising the gate way corridor that used to wear a picture that does not give an international outlookÂ nor meet the global standard compared to other international land borders within the West African sub region, â€œhe said.
The Comptroller vowed that no stone would be left unturned to ensure that illegal structures are demolished and those with approval re-directed to update their status by routing their request to the Comptroller General of Customs through the Customs Area Controller.â€
The CAC who expressed regret that the service land was taken over by illegal occupants noted that the land which was Gazetted since 1978 by the Land Act decree of the Federal Republic of Nigeria will not be allowed to be treated with reckless abandon. He warned all trespassers to keep off or lose whatever resources they expended on the land.
He restated his resolve to ensure that miscreants and touts called â€œKelegbesâ€ who infiltrate the border and all the security agencies to perpetrate trans border crimes were flushed out.
The Comptroller launched an â€œoperation flush out touts from the borderâ€ who impersonate as officers or stand as imposters to deceive innocent travelers along the Lagos-Abidjan corridor in company of other relevant security agencies at the border.
While responding to the allegation from the representatives of the Nigerian Communities in the Republic of Togo, he used the opportunity to sensitise the gathering on the core functions of the Nigeria Customs Service.
He explained further that most of the complaints were due to ignorance of the customs laws, while some who deliberately chose to trade on prohibited items connive and patronise the touts â€œKelegbesâ€ to facilitate their illegal passage.
He restated that genuine and legitimate traders who are treated in the contrary has the option of the office of the Servicom/Public Relations Office (PRO) to lodge their complaints or proceed to the office of the CAC who operate an open door policy in order to facilitate legitimate trade through the corridor.
He warned genuine stake holders and those who were ignorant before now not to transact business with any imposters that are not completely dressed in uniform with name tag attached.
He restated his resolve to sanitising the border command to meet with other international requirement in terms of appearance and standards.