The Ag. Comptroller-General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi MFR, charged Officers and Men of the Service to apply tactical measures in dealing with citizens before using firearms, saying that “the use of firearms could only be applied in extreme circumstances that require self-defence”.
The CGC passed the caution to the Senior Officers of the Service on Thursday, 27 July 2023, during the official declaration of a sensitization workshop on the practical implementation of the Nigeria Customs Service Act 2023 for Comptrollers and Assitant Legal Advisers at the Nigeria Customs Command and Staff College Gwagwalada, Abuja.
“We must not, in any circumstance, use firearms – except we have an absolute necessity for using it. The citizens of this country are there for us to protect.”
The CG has, on many occasions, emphasized that his core principles as the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service is to protect the citizens and improve the efficiency of the Service through enhancing trade facilitation, staff welfare and suppressing smuggling.
He stressed that the core mandate of the Service is saving and protecting the lives and properties of Nigerians, adding that the bridge upon which NCS is built is to be just and honest to the citizens.
The Acting Comptroller-General of Customs has repeatedly emphasized that the new Nigeria Customs Service Act 2023 when properly implemented, will improve the proficiency of the Service.
He urged the Officers to pay attention to what they will be taught and clearly understand the importance of the legal framework provided for the Service, adding that “everything we do must be situated with that framework.”
According to him, the new law has abundantly granted enormous powers to the Nigeria Customs Service to carry out sanctions to discourage criminals that violate Customs laws, “but then, there are a lot of limitations and obligations that require us to exercise good strategies in implementing those powers. We need to create a better environment for trade facilitation and more friendly business and Port environments.”