Retired Col. Hameed Ali, the Comptroller General of Nigerian Customs Service, on Thursday, commissioned eighteen patrol boats to check waterways smuggling in Nigeria.
Speaking at the boat commissioning in Port Harcourt, the customs CG said the 18 patrol boats, consisting nine logistic support boats and nine gun boats whose parts were armoured, should send clear signals to the criminals that “the game is up’’.
He said: “Unlike before, we now have boats with flat bottoms that can access the creeks even when the water has receded.
“The addition of these boats to the Service Marine arsenal at a time when more smugglers are running away from the heat on land to water is simply the right thing to do.
“This event, no doubt, marks the beginning of a renewed offensive against those who chose creeks and waterways as safe haven for their illegal trade.
“In-line with Executive Order on Local Content of 2017, NCS tapped into the ingenuity of a Nigerian Company, SEWA, to design, construct and build these edifices.
“ As you can see, these boats are not only built with our weather and circumstances in mind, they can compete with similar ones built anywhere in the world.’’
According to the NCS boss, the relationship between NCS and SEWA represents excellent examples of what Nigerians can achieve when we come together.
“I therefore commend SEWA for delivering on their promise and have no hesitation to recommend them to individuals or organizations that need what they are capable of producing.
“As we commission these boats which will be deployed for the Southern waters, (the Eastern and Western Marine Commands), I urge our Marine Operatives to use them judiciously in the interest of the nation,’’ Ali said.