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April 23, 2024
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Comptroller General of Customs (CGC), Comptroller Adewale Adeniyi,

Customs to deploy new technology for anti-smuggling operations

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By Martha Agas

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) says it will soon deploy Geographic Information System (GIS) to strengthen its anti- smuggling operations.

The National Public Relations Officer, NCS, Chief Superintendent of Customs, Abdullahi Maiwada, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja.

He said that the initiative was part of efforts to achieve its N5.1 trillion revenue target for 2024.

Maiwada said that the technology would enhance the effectiveness its operations and provide spatial analysis of smuggling patterns.

He said that the initiative would also improve border surveillance and monitoring, as well as facilitating intelligence gathering and analysis among other objectives.

Maiwada said that NCS would also deploy satellite images and dissolve the existing strike force, while handing over the traditional power of its Federal Operations Unit across all its zones.

“We are looking forward to using satellite images and geo-referencing using GIS, so that we have a more predictable enforcement strategy that is in line with best practices.

“Recently, officers were trained on this issue of remote sensing and GIS so that they will be able to track electronically some of this movement.

“We are also working on robust ICT infrastructure which is in line with our existing trade modernisation project.

“It will have a Risk Control Center where we will be manning and looking at all the activities that are going on within our borders.

“We have equally distributed some equipment such as operational vehicles to officers to most of our enforcement commands to carry out anti-smuggling activities,” he said.

He said that the NCS would embark on a continuous training, both short and long term which would help its personnel to efficiently handle the challenges of smuggling.

“In terms of enforcement, our new Nigeria Customs Service Act 2023 has empowered and given us the opportunity to take more stringent measures.

“An example is the recent conviction we have secured for some smugglers who not only smuggled items, but also ended up attacking officers on duty.

“They got three years in prison with no option of fine with hard labour,” he said.

According to him, the Comptroller General of Customs, Adewale Adeniyi is committed to strengthening the anti-smuggling strategy of the service by leading in the advocacy for open data governance.

He described the move as a veritable platform for the public to critique its operations which would in turn facilitate appropriate actions.

“Since the coming of the comptroller of customs, the first thing we have done in terms of improving our anti-smuggling strategy is to first advocate for open data governance.

“This will help us have a kind of appraisal from the members of the public whether our data driven activities are really working or we need to improve on what we are doing,” he said.(NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

Edited by Joseph Edeh

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