Lifestyle: 91 percent of importers in Nigeria are smugglers – Col. Ali

Hameed Ali had spoken on the major problem of smuggling facing the Customs.

Nigeria's custom officer addresses growing trend of smuggling.

Nigeria's Custom agency has hinted that large number of importers in the country engage in smuggling of goods into the country.

According to the Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Colonel Hameed Ali Rtd, 91 percent of importers in the country are smugglers who do not comply with the stipulated rules governing goods importation. Mr Hammed also stated that there is a lot to say about current challenge of smuggling in Nigeria.

"We have come to understand that Nigerians, especially those living in the border community, do not even understand that smuggling is a crime", said Ali as he expressed how critical the smuggling situation is.

At the presentation of the book: “Appraisal of the Crime of Smuggling in Nigeria” in Abuja on Thursday 30 November authored by Dr. Musa Omale who is an assistant Assistant Comptroller of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), many officials had a lot of things to say about the smuggling challenge in Nigeria.

What did the custom agency official have to say about tackling smuggling?

Ali said the Service has to be strict in order to meet its objective of tackling crime of smuggling of illegal goods into the country. He said that smuggling has become a major problem of the Nigerian Customs and any attempt to offer solutions to it is welcome.

He directed all Customs Area Commands to apply more strict measures to track down the smugglers and halt their activities permanently.

According to him, the organization has lost five officers in only this year in the process of carrying out its objective of stopping smuggling.

He said the activities of smugglers had become very worrisome, and that the service could not fold its arms and watch helplessly while smugglers operated to the detriment of the Nigerian people.

What are the solutions to tackle smuggling?

Prof. Alswell Oseni Mauzan who is a law Professor of Law noted while reviewing the book that with a proper automated system which will record the details of any outgoing goods which will be kept by the Customs officials.

Mauzan concluded on the note that smuggling is a promoter of all forms of social vices, including money laundering, armed robbery, among others as it provides the environment for them to thrive and it is necessary to put a stop to it.

While Musa Omale the author of the book also spoke to journalists present at the presentation saying his major motivation for writing the book was he felt Nigerians needed to know about smuggling and the effect it has while giving tips on how to avoid it.