Five Customs officers attached to the Kaduna Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) were killed by smugglers within the first quarter of this year.
Addressing journalists on Thursday, the Zonal Coordinator, Alu Sule, an Assistant Comptroller General (ACG), said smugglers were deadlier than armed robbers.
He stated that insecurity in the Northern part of the country has affected revenue generation in the zone, pointing out that N3.145 billion was realised in the first quarter of this year.
The zonal Customs boss however expressed optimism that the zone which comprised five area commands of Zamfara/Sokoto, Kogi/Kwara, Kaduna/Niger, Kano/Jigawa, and FCT would meet its revenue target in the second quarter. He appealed to communities and stakeholders to assist the zone in exposing the activities of smugglers.
He said: “In the course of our work, which is full of hazards, these five officers encountered some of the smugglers and you know, some of these smugglers could be daring. In fact, they are worse than armed robbers.
“They were armed and they engaged our men, attacked our officers and this was how they killed these officers.
“The smugglers attacked our check-points somewhere in Katsina State but some of the officers were killed in Kano area, while chasing smugglers.
“As for our revenue target, we have collected about 73 per cent, but we need the cooperation of every stakeholder to succeed.
“There is going to be a lot of improvement in revenue generation in the second quarter, and by the grace of God, we will meet our target.
“The terrains in these areas have posed serious challenge to us. The smuggling activities and the security challenges have not really allowed us to collect as much revenue as we are trying to get.
“We are on top of the situation and by the grace of God, we will overcome these challenges.”
Copyright 2017 Ships & Ports Ltd. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit given to www.shipsandports.com.ng as the source.