Why we reduced Customs’ checkpoints by 50% on Lagos-Badagry Expressway — Controller

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) on Sunday said it had reduced checkpoints on the Lagos Badagry Expressway by 50 per cent, explaining that the move was to position the officers more strategically. 

The Controller, Seme Area Command of the service, Comptroller Timi Bomodi, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Seme near Badagry.

According to the controller, this is something that we have identified as inimical to trade.

“When I first came here, what I did is to drastically reduce the number of checkpoints by Nigeria Customs from my command because I believe we have to deploy our men more strategically.

“There is no need to just proliferate the road with personnel without thinking of the strategic implications of their deployment.

“So, we reduced it by 50 per cent. Then placed them in particular positions that allowed them to effectively cover the sea, the road and the river.

“We took into consideration the communities in Badagry and Seme axis.

“We have about 99 communities between Seme and Agbara and they exist on both sides of the road. Some are proximate to the road, some to the ocean while some to the river,” the controller said.

Bomodi said that these were accessed all the way to the Republic of Benin, Togo and even further.

“So, these are points of convergence for smugglers.

“Those are the points we identified and deployed our officers to and they are yielding results for us,” he said.

The controller said that he did not understand the motive behind other agencies of government operating many checkpoints on the corridor.

“We don’t know the reason why other security agencies deploy many of their men on the road.

“We don’t know if it is even effective in executing their mandate but we do know that it gives us negative feedback especially when you are discussing with people that are coming to Nigeria from other countries.

“Immediately you move from Seme into Republic of Benin, you don’t see all these happening.

“Multiple checkpoints don’t speak well of us as a country that is bent on growing local economy.

“We are trying to encourage Foreign Direct Investments. We are trying to encourage tourists to come in.

“We need to present a picture that shows how serious we are in our approach toward trade facilitation,” he said.

Bomodi said that during joint security meetings, he always advised the other security agencies to take action and ensure the corridor was free from unnecessary checkpoints. (NAN)

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Source:

Tribune Online