Cancellation of pre-shipment inspection fuelling insurgency, group alleges

A group, the National Coordinator of the Social Integrity Network, SINET on Thursday, offered a new factor for the rising wave of insurgency in the country.

Addressing newsmen in Abuja, Mallam Ibrahim Isah Identified the cancellation of pre-shipment inspection by the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, as one of the reasons.

Isah who noted that the  Inspection by NCS was cancelled during the tenure of the former Comptroller-General, Alhaji Dikko Inde Abdullahi, revealed that the development has created a window for criminals under the guise of businessmen to import arms and ammunition into the country unchecked.

The group demanded the restoration of the policy which it noted would go a long way in curbing illegal shipment of firearms into the country by crimes magnates.

“With the benefit of hindsight, the escalation of insurgency began immediately after the cancellation of Pre-Shipment Inspection by the Nigeria Customs Service during the tenure of the former Comptroller General, Alhaji Dikko Inde Abdullahi.

“Therefore, a quick win to countermand insurgency is the restoration of Pre-Shipment Inspection services to forestall many containers which are supposed to be carrying legal items/goods of different kinds being loaded with dangerous weapons and brought into the country without adequate attention.”

Isah decried the present situation at the ports where little or no inspection is carried out on containers at the points of loading, thereby, subjecting the lives of Nigerians to serious threats and uncertainty.

Aside from illegal weapons allegedly being shipped into the country without required interception by Customs, the SINET National Coordinator also accused operatives of the revenue-generating agency and their counterparts with the Standard Organisation of Nigeria, SON, of negligence in curbing smuggling of all manner of substandard products into the country.

“The conspiracy being perpetrated by officers of the Nigeria Customs Service and personnel of Standard Organization of Nigeria, (SON) with smugglers at the various ports across the country is creating a serious economic threat to Local Manufacturers who have invested their lives through bank loans and workers’ salaries commitments to mention a few.

“Many local industries have in the recent time shut down their operations while other existing ones are in the process of laying off over 20,000 workforces as released by the umbrella body of industrialists nationwide.

“In addition, the unpatriotic acts of smuggling have proven to be responsible for the unending war against insurgency as smugglers import undisclosed items in the country unchecked at the premier ports and the private jetties.

“All these are attempts to frustrate His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR’s efforts to restore probity into the nation because the carnage has led to a high level of tax evasion in Nigeria.

“If the activities of the NCS and SON are left unchecked and the protocol of African Conference on Free Trade Agreement comes into force, the consequences will set back the economy of Nigeria by 50 years”, he lamented.

Giving an insight into the establishment of SINET, Mallam Isah told journalists that it was established some years ago in response to high demand for better attention on the standard of living of Nigerians especially youths and women who constitute a larger percentage of Nigeria’s growing population.

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