The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has intensified its collaborative efforts with the Nigerian Navy, aiming to bolster their joint presence in Nigeria’s territorial waters to combat smuggling activities.
During a visit to the Naval Dockyard in Lagos on Thursday, 16th November 2023, the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi MFR, expressed admiration for the Naval Dockyard’s expertise in maintaining vessels.
He highlighted the Navy’s capacity and willingness to assist in the maintenance of the NCS fleet of vessels, emphasizing the potential for a collaborative agreement.
“We don’t need to establish a vessel maintenance unit; it’s capital intensive, but we have an agency of government that has the knowledge, that has the capacity and there’s the willingness for them to assist us,” stated the CGC.
Adeniyi stressed the critical need to fortify the NCS’ presence in Nigeria’s coastal waters to minimize smuggling activities, emphasizing that neglecting the waters would create opportunities for smugglers.
In response, Rear Admiral Abolaji Orederu, the MD/CEO of Naval Dockyard Ltd., underscored the dockyard’s substantial role in vessel maintenance, repairs, and shipbuilding. He highlighted the readiness of the Naval Dockyard to support the NCS and referred to the Customs Service as a valuable ally of the Nigerian Navy.
“The capacity is here, and the excess capacity can be used to support other agencies, the larger maritime community, and the shipping world as a whole,” concluded Rear Admiral Orederu.
This collaborative effort signifies a crucial step towards consolidating the Customs Service’s operations in Nigeria’s territorial waters, demonstrating a united front between the Nigeria Customs Service and the Nigerian Navy to combat smuggling effectively.