The Acting Comptroller-General of Customs, Mr Adewale Adeniyi, has promised to work with sister agencies along Seme border to reduce the number of checkpoints in the corridor.
Adeniyi who made the promise during his official visit to Seme Area Command on Friday said “We want to enhance our national security, but we are going to do it with a fewer number of checkpoints; we are working with other security agencies to see how we can rationalise the checkpoints.”
According to him, before coming to the command, the Controller of Seme Area Command, Mr Dera Nandi, had mentioned a number of issues which include the many checkpoints along the axis.
He said, “I also want to challenge you that national security is not responsibility of the government agencies alone.
“It is the business of every citizen, in all the parts of the society they treat national security as a priority, so it should not be the business of the security agencies alone.
“This is to make life easier for business, so, I want to charge you all to make life and the work of our security agencies easier.
“The criminal lives among us, those that are bringing arms and ammunition live among us, they operate within us.
“What we can do to help and re-enforce our national security is if you help us with information for us to catch these criminals who are dangerous to our community.
“They are our enemies, they are the ones who do not like us, so there is need for us to help the security with information.
“Once the security agencies get hold of information, they might not need the check points anymore.”
Adeniyi promised to engage other agencies to see how they can streamline the checkpoints.
He said that not all borders that were closed had been reopened, but discussions were on, as it was a continuous process.
“Policies that are aimed at enhancing national security are supposed to be dynamic policies and at different times, we will review them.
“We have started reviewing them that is why some borders were opened about a year ago, so it is a continuous process, more will be opened along the line.
“Everything will depend on the kind of report that will get to the government about the ability of the local communities to support the law enforcement agencies so that criminals do not get through these border areas,” he said.
The Acting CGC said that if all things worked well, the service would commence discussion on how vehicles would be allowed to pass through land borders.
“So this will be among the discussion once we get the assurance from the community that they will be ready to support the agencies to do their jobs,” he said
Mr Onyekachi Ojinma, the Chairman, Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) Seme Chapter, urged President Bola Tinubu to put in place policies to let borders be more viable for business and services to thrive.
In his remarks, Mr Joseph Gbenu, the Chairman, Badagry-West Local Council Development Area, commended the Acting Comptroller General of Customs for visiting Seme command.
He assured him that his people would ensure the expose enemies of the country who were bent on sabotaging the economy of the country by bringing contraband through the borders.
Adeniyi had earlier visited the Akran of Badagry, Aholu Lehi Toyi, where he received royal blessings.
Traditional rulers, chiefs, members of ANLCA, residents of Sème and other neighbouring communities were at the event.