Why we are yet to deploy new vessels to sea – Compt. Umar

Six months after the inspection of two sea-going vessels purchased by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) under the immediate past Comptroller-General, Dikko Abdulahi, the vessels are yet to be deployed to the sea, Area Controller, Western Marine command, Yusuf Umar has said.

Disclosing this while fielding questions from journalists at the command last week, Umar said the vessels, which were christened ‘Customs Pride’ and ‘Group of Nine’, are yet to commence operation because according to him, they are still under custody of the contractors building them.

He said, “The vessels are yet to be commissioned because they are still under the custody of the contractors that is why we are yet to deploy them to the sea but very soon, they are going to be given to us and you will see what is going to happen. Sea piracy, illegal bunkering and other illegal activities on our water will be addressed.

“Mere seeing the vessels on water will send signals to smugglers, including those stealing our oil and other smuggling activities on waters because we can pursue them with this kind of vessels to any length,” Umar said.

The vessels, which were the first set to be acquired by the NCS, are fitted with integrated computer-based equipment including in-built radar, wind vein, electronic chart and speed capacity.

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