The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), has urged Nigerians to see smuggling as a crime and support it to succeed in the war against smugglers.
Mr. Joseph Attah, its Public Relations Officer, made the appeal yesterday in Abuja.
He said the service anti-smuggling strategy was yielding positive dividend, adding that in the past three months, the service seized 136,506 bags of rice.
“All Nigerians should see smuggling as a crime so that they will support the service to succeed in the ongoing war against smugglers.
“Seeing smuggling as a crime means that you will be willing to give creditable information that will help us succeed.
“As villagers that live around border line, they should be willing to support customs officers whenever they make seizures and they are encountering some difficulties, rather than supporting the smugglers against Customs
“In Nigeria, when a thief is arrested or an armed robber is arrested, you hardly get to see people going to beg for them.
“But today when a smuggler is arrested you see Nigerians, including some respected ones in our society, coming to beg for such persons to be released because they do not see smuggling as a crime; they see it as a trade,” Attah said.
He said some Nigerians often times accused the NCS of not doing enough in its service delivery.
He said it was wrong for people to think that a smuggler could only be successful when supported in active connivance by customs officers.