By Anita Abu
Aliyu Wamakko, a retired Custom intelligence officer, stated that the Nigerian borders are porous and coupled with that the country does not have any good mechanism when it comes to checking of its land borders.
Speaking to one of our reporters on the 22nd day of June 2021, he stated that the proliferation of arms coming into West Africa and African countries in general is an offshoot of what happened in Libya.
“What happened in Libya during the time of Gaddafi was that he opened his armoury and asked everyone to go in and take of it which was free, arms became prominent in the whole of Africa due to that act. Go to sub-Saharan Africa, you will notice that there are arms littered everywhere. Boko haram is an offshoot of the proliferation of those ammunition’s.
“ISIS are everywhere all as a result of the proliferation of arms which came from Libya.
“We got it wrong because the time the superpowers were destroying Libya, we thought it was only there it would affect. Today, we are witnessing what they have created for us. That is why we are having all this kind of banditry, kidnapping, terrorism and their likes.
“In fact, arms are very easy to get now in Africa because everywhere you go there are arms. Do you put custom officers around the whole of Nigerian borders so that arms cannot come in? is it possible? The arms and weapons that come into the country are through our land borders and with that, you cannot do anything about the happenings.
Wamakko said the only thing the federal government is doing that is in the right direction is the NIN.
“Every Nigerian must be identified by his or her cell phone number.
“So, whoever commits any crime will be easy to identify irrespective of where the person is located and tracing you wouldn’t be a problem.
“There is no way we can get out of this insecurity saga without this NIN being effectively monitored and complied with.
“When I was in the custom as an intelligent officer of the intelligence unit, my duty was to get informations for general enforcement duty. So, I get information for them to enforce the laws of the custom.
“The real situation in Custom today is that the government is not getting it right in such a way that it should be.
“Custom has its bye-laws which you must go through in other to understand its tariffs before you will be able to administer custom. It is wildly speculated and believed by the public that it is a revenue-generating agency that everybody in custom is a thieves this is a very wrong signal that the people are dishing out to the public.
Even people who read farm husbandry are being made to hold custom, which is wrong. You cannot call a soldier man to head customs. It is wrong. You need to think from inside the box. So that you can get a meaningful development.
Going by records, you will see that all the people who have moved customs forward like the late Dikko who was a CG of customs. He did a lot for the customs which his deeds has come to stay. Nobody can move customs forward than a person who is a customs officer. So, the government has always been getting it wrong and this is the right time for them to get it right.
Speaking about real estate, Wamakko said he had been in the business for over 10 years.
“I was a customs officer before I retired in 2006 then joining the real estate business. I have established a mark in the industry, I was able to produce more than a thousand housing units which are affordable to the general public in a bid to reduce the Nigerian housing deficit.”