ABUJA – The Comptroller General, Nigeria Customs Service, Alhaji Dikko Adullahi, said the ban on roadblocks and checkpoints by customs personnel in the hinterland within the country is still in force.
Abdullahi restated this when he received the Managing Director, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Mr Ima Niboro, yesterday in Abuja.
He said officers of the service could only intercept vehicles in the hinterland based on credible information, either that the vehicle carried contraband or smuggled goods.
He restated his stand on banning of roadblocks because “it is not dignified and it is not in our character to mount roadblocks in the hinterland.
“Our job is at the border; it is 40 kilometres radius within the border area where our officers are allowed to mount road blocks to check whatever goods that are brought into the country.
“That is where officers are allowed to mount roadblocks and patrol but anything within the country has to be on information; they should not be seen mounting roadblock within the country but moving based on information.
“If they are seen within the country, that means there is information that customs goods are passing through that location and the operation should be within a particular time of the day”.
The CGC said the NCS was in collaboration with other security agencies like police that always furnished the customs with useful information on the movement of goods within the country.
He, however, called on the public to be vigilant about the activities of customs officers within their localities, especially those that still defied the directive on the roadblocks.
The customs boss said that the service had established a lifeline where the public could report any officer seen mounting road blocks.
He also said the service was collaborating with the Federal Road Safety Commission to track smuggled vehicles through common database.
Abdullahi said the service was free from political interference which had enabled it to continue to perform better and had led to improvement in revenue generation.
He said that the service usually found it difficult in the past to generate N40 billion in a month but it currently generated as much as N100 billion monthly.