CUSTOMSMEN are to get more misiles to tackle smugglers.
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) yesterday approved N3 billion for the procurement of two High-Speed Patrol Boats.
Information Minister Labaran Maku broke the news while briefing State House Correspondents on the outcome of the weekly FEC meeting, chaired by Vice President Namadi Sambo.
According to him, the procurement of the patrol boats for the NCS will go a long way in curtailing the huge economic drain and threat the incidence of smuggling poses to the country’s manufacturing sector.
He said: “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, FEC considered this proposal and approved the purchase of these two high speed boats for the Nigerian Customs Service.”
He said the FEC 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 the FEC also adopted a policy proposal for the coordination and utilisation of ICT in all the federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and government services, was also approved.
According to him, the deployment of Communication Technology Officers to all the MDAs, as a new cadre in the civil service.
The minister maintained that emergency call centres would be established across the country to advance public information management.