* Senate Committee lauds Customs on community relations, inter-agency synergy
By Nudoiba Ojen
The Area Controller, Nigeria Customs Service, Seme Area Command, Comptroller Dera Nnadi, has assured of a continuous cordial, working relationship with all sister security agencies and the border communities to ensure peace for the common good of Nigeria.
Nnadi said, “We are improving synergy between the Command and stakeholders, as they can attest, and we have also improved our corporate social responsibilities (CSR).
The Customs boss spoke when playing host to members of Senate Ad-hoc Committee on Customs and Excise, who visited as part of the committee’s oversight functions in response to earlier complaints of cases of rifts between some Commands and their host communities.
Nnadi listed some CSR initiatives of the Command for the host communities to include donation of football jerseys and other sports materials to various youth groups within the border areas, donation of medicaments to Badagry General Hospital by Customs Officers Wives Association among several others.
The Senate Committee Chairman, Senator Francis Ade Fadahunsi MFR, lauded the Customs Command on its efforts towards ensuring inter-agency synergy and robust relationship with the border community and relevant stakeholders.
Stating the purpose of the visit, Fadahunsi noted that there were three petitions before the Senate alleging incessant fracas and killings of residents of the border communities by security agencies, including Customs, which necessitated the leadership of the Senate to mandate the ad-hoc Committee to embark on a fact-finding mission.
He said, “The reason we are here is in connection with three petitions to the Senate, not recently though, over allegations of constant and incessant killings, sporadic shootings by security agents led by Customs”.
Fadahunsi noted that “there is a robust and healthy relationship between the security agencies led by Customs, Seme Area Command and the border communities, which was evident from comments and interactions at the meeting”.
He urged the Customs Area Controller, Nnadi, to make recommendations that will foster a harmonious relationship between the government and border communities, as well as generate more revenue.
“We want you to make a serious recommendation, a very urgent and quick one so that we will not have all these issues again, so that you will be able to agree with these people”, the senator said.
The meeting had in attendance Hon. Joseph Gbenu, Chairman of Badagry West LCDA; representatives of sister agencies, as well as relevant stakeholders and youth leaders of border communities.