GUN IMPORTATION BACKLASH: Customs CG, Wale Adeniyi Visits Apapa Port, Reads Riot Act to Officers, Urges Them to be Vigilant


Customs Comptroller-General, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi inspecting the guard of Command at Apapa Port on Thursday


Apparently disturbed by the latest trend of seizure of large catche of weapons and military gadgets at Onne Port Command and Muritala Muhammed International Airport Command in Lagos, the Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs Service, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi on Thursday visited the Apapa Area Command of customs, even as he warned officers to remain “eagle eyed” while at the same time, not allow themselves to be compromised by importers of these dangerous weapons.

Customs CG addressing Apapa Customs officers

While addressing about 344 officers on parade at Apapa command, he urged officers to remain vigilant and security conscious, adding that the customs play a critical role in National Security.
Adeniyi said that customs officers are not isolated from the broader security issues plaguing the country.

He acknowledged the personal risks customs officers and their families face, citing instances of kidnappings and terrorist attacks affecting their community. 

“Since the beginning of this year, I am sure you must have known or heard about a customs officer or his family that was kidnapped,”

“I am sure you must have heard or know a colleague or a family member of a customs officer that has been a victim of a terrorist attack, either in the Northeast, in the Northwest, or in the South.”

“We live in a very, very dire situation in the country. Unfortunately, the responsibility of making it better lies in the hands of all of us,” he stated, urging officers to recognize their pivotal role in addressing these challenges through their actions or inaction.

Highlighting recent security breaches, Adeniyi pointed to the seizure of arms and military accouterments at the airport and a significant incident in Onne.

“What happened yesterday at the airport, with the seizure of arms and military accouterments, before last week, before the one of yesterday, there was a big incident that happened in Onne,” he recounted, noting that such incidents illustrate the extent of infiltration within the system.

Adeniyi warned of the desperate and well-organized nature of those attempting to smuggle contraband into the country, including arms, fake drugs, and prohibited goods.

He revealed that some individuals within the service and external conspirators support these illegal activities. 

“They have a network of support, they have people who conspire with them, some of them within the service, some of them outside the service.”

The CG emphasized the importance of adhering to proper procedures, such as ensuring goods are scanned and physically examined, to prevent illegal items from entering Nigeria. He lamented instances where goods are either not inspected or wrongly declared, allowing contraband to slip through.

Addressing the accountability mechanisms in place, Adeniyi reminded officers that their actions are monitored and can be traced.

“We work with a system that has track and trace. What each and all of you do with our system can be tracked. It can be traced. We can attribute them to you in the next seven years or beyond,” he warned. “What you do not do can also be attributed to you.”

In his concluding remarks, Adeniyi called for unwavering adherence to the oath of service and allegiance to Nigeria. He warned of severe consequences for those found complicit in illegal activities.

“If anybody is caught on the wrong side of the law, if anybody is traced to these activities, if any bonded warehouse owner is traced, if any customs agent is traced to it, we will not spare anybody.”

The address ended with a call to action for all customs officers to rise to the challenge and protect the nation from security threats. “This nation is ours. Revenue is important. Trade facilitation is important. We are getting it right on those ends. We must not fail on our mandate of national security.” he said.

Adeniyi later retired into a closed door meeting with the Comptroller of Customs Apapa Command, Compt Babatunde Olomu, as well as some senior officers.

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