Customs acquire 5,000 AK 47 to fight Smugglers

Alhaji Abdullahi Dikko

The Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Customs Service, Alhaji Abdullahi Dikko, on Tuesday said the service was battle ready to confront those smuggling small arms into the country.

In an interview with State House correspondents at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday, Dikko said the agency had already acquired two helicopters for aerial surveillance of the nation’s borders in order to put the activities of the criminals under check.

He added that President Goodluck Jonathan had approved the purchase of about 400 units of Toyota Hilux vehicles for the patrolling of the borders.

The Customs boss added that the agency had imported about 5,000 AK 47 assault rifles that would be used to equip its officers and men for the onslaught against smugglers and importers of small arms.

“I think with all these (the helicopters, rifles and patrol vans), we will give Nigerians a pleasant surprise,” he said.

Dikko added that the Customs Staff College recently inaugurated by the President was currently being used to train and re-train customs officials and officers of sister security agencies.

He said the United States Embassy in Nigeria had declared its interest in training Customs officers and those of other security agencies.

“That place is for middle and higher cadre officers. I want to assure you that that school is occupied now up till December.  The US Embassy has indicated its interest to train not only Customs, but all other agencies are involved. A lot of requests to use the facility are on line. That school is fully occupied. It is a new bride of educational facility in Nigeria,” he said.

Dikko said although a target of N800bn in form of Internally Generated Revenue was given to Customs in the current fiscal year, he had decided to increase the target to N1.2tn.

“I have been given a target and I assure Nigerians that the target will be met. At any given time, Customs always passes our target and I am sure we are going to pass our target this year also. The target is N800bn but I have put my target forward to N1.2tn. I made provision for additional N400bn to generate for Nigerians so that they can be happy,” he declared.

-Punch NG

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