The Comptroller, Nigeria Customs Service, Oyo/Osun command, Abdullahi Zulkifli, on Wednesday, said the fight against the activities of smugglers has been facing serious challenges in Kisi, Oke-Ogun areas of Oyo state due to lack of cooperation by the residents.
The customs boss who noted that the hostilities being faced in the axis could be linked to the unwillingness of the people in the area to see an end come to smuggling activities despite the efforts of the operatives and officials of the Customs Service in the Command.
Zulkifli made the call during a courtesy call on Governor Seyi Makinde in his Agodi Secretariat office.
Noting the challenges being faced by the officials operating on the Kisi-Kwara state axis known to be a route for the movement of several goods, he urged Governor Makinde to help look into why officers of the Customs service were unable to operate in Kisi while other security operatives does.
He said, “There is a particular place in Oyo state that they have refused only Customs access and that is Kisi. All other agencies are there but they refused us even a small place to stay in Kisi.
“This place is very close to Kwara state. At times we are called that there is movement of things from Kisi to Kwara, but we cannot go there. For reasons best known to them, they know why they don’t want us to be there.
“For a very long time, all the other agencies are there in Kisi. I’m not saying it is in the bush, it is not a border area. Even Saki is not a border area, Igbeti is not a border area but they are linked to the main border area which is a bit bushy. There are a lot of routes. No matter your strength, you cannot cover all the existing routes but there are points where they meet.
“We complain of hostilities of some of the border areas which is almost normal throughout the country because what we are there to stop have been their habits and business. But we are here to enforce the law and make sure that smuggling is curtailed and to collect maximum revenue.”
He however, said the Customs remained undeterred and will continue to collaborate with other security agencies to arrest suspicious movements across the state.
He further tasked the state government to through the state security trust fund, approve patrol vehicles for the Customs for it to be more effective in its anti-smuggling activities.
Responding, Makinde said the state intended to have an integrated security architecture and make the state’s joint security task force, “Operation Burst” more effective, especially on border areas.
He also promised to look into why the Customs service was unable to operate in Kisi.
Furthermore, he assured that his administration will support the Customs service for effectiveness, especially by refurbishing existing vehicles and purchasing new ones.