NAF, Customs partner on border security, anti-smuggling air operations
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) and the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) have agreed to synergise efforts towards strengthening border security and stemming the tide of banditry and smuggling activities around Nigerian borders and entry points.
This is contained in a statement issued by the Director of Public Relations and Information, NAF Headquarters, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet on Friday in Abuja.
Gabkwet, quoted the Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Oladayo Amao as saying that the airforce would continue to encourage partnership with other security agencies.
The CAS was represented by the Director of Operations, NAF Headquarters, AVM Nnamdi Ananaba.
”Based on the agreement, NAF is expected to make available on request two of its pilots to assist with operation of NCS Bell-427 helicopters and by so doing, complement the manpower of NCS Air-Wing.
“The MoU specifically sets out the terms of a joint commitment, which is expected to enhance efficiency in the areas of port and border patrols to curtail activities of smuggling syndicates across the country,” the air chief said.
This, he said, would enable the service to provide aircraft maintenance support to them so as to enhance the fight against all forms of insecurity in the country.
He added that NAF’s partnership with the NCS was a clear indication of the need for synergy and inter-agency cooperation particularly between the military and para-military organisation’s.
Amao noted that the Mou would go a long way in building on the already existing cordial relationship as well as ensure seamless collaboration between the two organisations.
He noted further that the current security challenges in the country called for the need to bridge the gap and divide that disconnects the military and other government agencies to work towards achieving a common goal.
In his remarks, the Comptroller-General of NCS, rtd Col. Hameed Ali, noted that the partnership with the NAF would no doubt improve NCS’ air operations and anti-smuggling efforts.
“Particularly as it intensifies efforts in checkmating small arms proliferation across the country,”he said.
Ali thanked the CAS for offering to deploy NAF pilots to NCS’ air operations wing, so as to enhance its anti-smuggling operations.
He also called on the NAF and other services to consider partnering with the NCS in the areas of capacity building and purposeful manpower development to improve the output of NCS personnel.
“I request the assistance of the Armed Forces of Nigeria in training of NCS personnel in para-trooping and other related fields.
“This has become necessary in view of inaccessible areas used as smuggling routes which are mostly unmotorable and difficult to navigate.
“Hence the need for the NCS to begin to consider inserting its troops in these locations via para-dropping.