Federal Government of Nigeria on Wednesday approved the sum of N3 billion for the procurement of two High-Speed Patrol Boats for the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) marine operations.
The boats are to help check the activities of smugglers in the Nigeria’s water ways.The Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, stated this while briefing State House Correspondents on the outcome of the weekly FEC meeting which was presided over by Vice President Namadi Sambo.
According to him, the procurement of the patrol boats for the customs service will go a long way in curtailing the huge economic drain and threat the incidence of smuggling posed to the country’s manufacturing sector.
“Today, the Federal Executive Council received a proposal from the Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, proposing to buy two speed boats for Nigeria Customs to curb the activities of smugglers in our water ways. The ministry brought this proposal in view of recent challenges we have been facing particularly in our water ways relating to the activities of smugglers which has intensified of recent.
“The ministry having considered the recent upsurge in smuggling as well as the need to equip the Nigerian Custom Service in order to check the activities of smugglers and therefore prevent the huge revenue losses that this nation often is forced to suffer as a result of smuggling, proposed to buy two high-speed boats which will be fitted with surveillance equipment to enable the Nigeria Customs Service go deeper into the high seas to check the activities of smugglers and pirates, which has become a very serious source of worry to the government as a whole. And so, Council considered this proposal and approved the purchase of these two high speed boats for the Nigerian Customs Service.”
He said the Council also approved N5.5 billion for the rehabilitation of the Owerri-Umuahia road and the construction of two bridges along the Auchi Polytechnic Ekperi-Agenebode road. Maku said that the rehabilitation of the Owerri-Umuahia road and the construction of two strategic bridges on the Auchi Polytechnic road would boost socio-economic activities in the areas coincerned. The minister said that the Council also adopted a policy proposal for the coordination and utilisation of ICT in all the federal ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) and government services.