By: Mayen Etim
KADUNA, North-West, Nigeria -The Zonal Coordinator, Nigeria Customs Service, (NSC), Zone ‘B’, Assistant Comptroller General, ( ACG), Abubakar Bashir has said that the revenue generation of the zone which is the life-wire of the nation is being threatened by Boko Haram insurgency in recent years.
ACG Bashir disclosed this when the Exco members of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, (NUJ), Kaduna state council paid him a courtesy call in his office in Kaduna.
According to him, prior to the advent of the dreaded Boko Haram insurgency and other security challenges, the zone was known for sub-saharan trading activities and high volume of cargo goods coming into the entire north.
“This zone, and all northern part is the life-wire of the country in terms of trading activities and revenue generation. This is even traced to the history of Sub-Saharan trading routes domiciled in Kano, Chad, Burkina Faso, and so on and so forth.
“The volume of Cargo goods coming to the north was so much, but insecurity has reduced the cargo drastically. So I look at the zone as economic importance to the nation, and administratively too. We now have the dry port, national and international airports in the zone.
“But activities of Boko Haram and other security issues have hampered alot of economic contributions from and with other countries in terms of economic activities in the zone.
“One area that we need to improve is community customs relationships for information. The first problem I noticed when I took charge of this zone is lack of information from communities to Customs.
‘We will reach out to the communities, leaders, traditional leaders and groups for adequate information. We Need to show case to the people how to make proper exportation and importation.
“We intend to organize import and export seminar in the zone where relevant stakeholders will be invited to improve their services. This is going to be the first of its kind in the zone.
“I have worked in Zamfara and in the southern part of the country, and I know that no meaningful project can be achieved without involving the media, not only for customs.
‘We want to collaborate with the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) to help in informing the Customs Service wherever and whenever it is going wrong.
“However, you should ensure that junk journalism is checked to sanitize the profession.
“The Custom will also try to find out whether the officers and men are well equipped to perform their duties. But there is high level of discipline in the Customs, and whoever is not disciplined will not enjoy promotion,” he said.
Earlier, the NUJ state Council Chairman, Comrade Adamu Yusuf assured the Custom Zone ‘B’ Coordinator that the Union is ready to partner with the Nigeria Customs Service for the development and progress of the country.