In line with the federal government’s plan to improve the operations and contributions of the Nigeria Customs Service to the economy, the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has commissioned a new aircraft to boost capacity to combat smuggling.
The aircraft which was launched at a brief ceremony at the domestic wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja early on Friday, August 31, 2012 will help the Service to strengthen aerial surveillance of the different terrain that dot the nation’s borders.
In her remarks, the Coordinating Minister congratulated the Comptroller-General of Customs, Alhaji Abdullahi D I on the acquisition of the aircraft and urged the Service to work harder to achieve better results for the country, adding that “this aircraft is an investment for which the country expects good returns”.
The terrain around the country’s borders includes difficult to access riverine and mountainous areas which make monitoring and combating of the activities of the borders very challenging.
Several Customs personnel have lost their lives or sustained injuries during attacks by smugglers in recent times.
The aircraft, a jet, will boost efforts to provide more effective surveillance of these areas.
It will be recalled that the service recently adopted a change of strategy to concentrate more efforts at the nation’s borders even as it withdraws from the highways.