Comptroller Mohammed Umar, Customs Area Controller of Katsina has assured of reviving the Customs Community Consultative Forum to deepen interaction between the service and various community stakeholders across the state as a preventive measure against smuggling.
Comptroller Umar who said this at the Palace of the District Head of Babban-Mutum, Alhaji Haruna Abdullahi, during a familiarisation visit to the border community in Baure Local Government Area of the state, said the revitalisation of the consultative forum would enable the service and members of border communities to rub minds on sustainable ways of stemming smuggling and other transborder crimes for improved economic activities.
According to a press release by the Customs Public Relations Officer, Tahir Balarabe, the Controller assured that the Customs Community Consultative Forum would be effective before the end of year.
Balarabe, a Superintendent of Customs,quoted the Controller saying: the reviving of the forum would further serve as an avenue for the Service to sample relevant opinions of border communities and proffer solutions that will further deepen genuine economic activities.
While describing the Customs Community Consultative Forum as a veritable tool for resolving issues in border communities, the Comptroller said it will feature periodic engagement with leaders of business associations, traditional and religious leaders.
Comptroller Umar said: “We will immediately revamp the Customs Community Consultative Forum and make it more functional for improved trade facilitation and economic development without compromising national security.
He further stated that the compliance level in respect of border closure is fully enforced in the state, and his officers and other security personnel were working in harmony “No more challenges, and I believe it is good for economic development.”
He, however, said smuggling of rice and other commodities has reduced to the barest minimum in the state, adding that the officers and men of the Nigeria Customs Service will not rest on their oars until smuggling is totally annihilated.
He reiterated the Service was working desirously with other sister security agencies to further checkmate peddling of uncustomed goods into the country as well as the protection of lives and property of the citizenry.
He therefore warned officers and personnel of the Service, especially those serving at the border communities not to compromise in the discharge of their duties, and always act in the best interest of the country.
According to him, “We are here to make sure that the economic activities of the state are improved. They (officers) should maintain the rules and regulations governing the border closure, and they should not disturb the normal economic activities of the state.”
Comptroller Umar also visited Kongolam, Zango and Mai’Adua border stations in Mai’Adua and Zango Local Government Areas of the State, and held interactive sessions with Chairmen of the councils, leaders of various business associations, traditional and religious leaders. Where they assured their support to the Nigeria Customs Service, considering it notable commitment to enhancing border security and trade facilitation in the state.
Comptroller Umar, who toured the border stations as well as visited former President Muhammed Buhari at his country home in Daura and the Emir of Daura, Alh. Dr. Faruq Umar Faruq, where they all reiterated their support for the Nigeria Customs Service.