The Nigeria Customs Service’s Federal Operations Unit has evolved overtime, taking advantage of 21st century technological knowledge to advance their operations, maximizing revenue generated through gargantuan seizures made through top-notch intelligence sharing.
The FOU is also not resting on its oars, considering the number of casualties being recorded in some high profile operations in combat with smugglers recently.
The FOU zone A according to Dc Ali Garko who represented the Unit’s Comptroller, DC Hussein Jibuno in a training programme for Journalists, organised by the Powerful Pen Media Chapel, said that the FOU is doing a lot in terms of risk Management, to reduce the risk involved in trying to curb smuggling by tracking Smugglers to where there is minimal risk.
According to Garko,
” It’s better to track, isolate and go in at a time when there would be minimum risk, that is why the intelligence Unit of the Service is thriving and we are complimented with the latest technologies, you also assess the strength of the smugglers you are after, what they are carrying and how you would track and apprehend them, before going in,” Garko explained.Asked if the Unit’s actions are not in conflict with Customs operations within the Ports, Garko clarified that the “FOU is an intervention Unit, we conduct checks and patrol the borders, we compliment the Commands as an intervention Unit, same as the Taskforce. Customs act on the law of the land and whatever we do is with a glimpse of CEMA, he said.
Speaking further on the activities of the FOU ZONE A, DC Garko revealed that the FOU has hauled seizures of goods with DPV of over Seven billion Naira (7bn) between January and June 2022. “Seizures are tentative and we make seizures of goods that are under import procedure and absolute procedures.”
Continuing, he clarified that the FOU operation is not in default of what Customs do at the Ports, they cannot see everything, so whatever slipped, we at FOU intercept.”
He commended MAJAN and the Powerful Pen Media Chapel for organising this wonderful event and hoped that this would be sustained.
Also speaking at capacity building programme, the NUJ Lagos chapter Chairman, Mr Adeleye Ajayi said capacity is key to Journalists’ development, according to him, with the latest technologies around, a journalist should be trained on accurate and prompt reportage. He praised TPPMC for this noble idea and wished that they do more in this direction.