Senate demands that misbehaving customs officers be punished and that border checkpoints be reduced.

Senate demands that misbehaving customs officers be punished and that border checkpoints be reduced.The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) employees who abused their firearms at the country's borders have been denounced by the Senate, which has also called for just punishment for those responsible.

In order to promote the free movement of commodities, the Senate further demanded that the number of NCS checkpoints in border areas be decreased.

The Senate accepted the recommendations of an ad hoc committee that was established four months ago to look into claims that NCS employees had misused firearms during Tuesday's plenary session.

The committee's report, which was delivered by Francis Fadahunsi, the chairman, emphasized the urgency of resolving the problem.

According to Fadahunsi, "the Comptroller-General of Customs and other heads of security agencies should be directed by the Federal Government to reduce the multiple checkpoints mounted in border communities."

"This will facilitate the unhindered movement of goods from the border communities' marketplaces to the main town."

In order to facilitate the easy flow of commodities into and out of the communities, the Senate expressly instructed the Federal Government to provide NCS Comptroller-General Bashir Adewale instructions to lower the number of checkpoints in Katsina State.

The Senate further demanded that the NCS controllers be redeployed to Katsina and Idiroko and urged the Comptroller-General to use contemporary technology in carrying out the agency's responsibilities.

The Senate requested that the Comptroller General of Customs look into and verify claims that Customs and other security agency officials issued unauthorized receipts to traders and non-traders in Jibia and Mai'adua, Katsina State.

"This act has caused people living in these communities immense hardship because it is a monumental task to move goods (farm produce) across major markets and even to Katsina town and other neighboring states."

The Senate also recommended that the Comptroller-General redistribute the Comptrollers of the Kastina/Kaduna and Idiroko Area Commands, and appoint replacements who would implement a strong community engagement program. This will foster positive relationships and enable the Customs to fulfill its mandate without disregarding the desires and ambitions of the state's communities.


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