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Customs, security agencies mull joint taskforce to combat cross-border crime in Katsina

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Nigerian Army (NA), Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), and other security agencies in Katsina State plan to establish a joint taskforce to combat cross-border crime.

Tahir Balarabe, Superintendent of Customs, Public Relations Officer, Katsina Customs Area Controller disclosed this in a statement on Saturday.

The development comes after the Controller of the Katsina Area Command of the NCS, Mohammed Abubakar Umar, paid a courtesy visit to security offices in the state recently.

Speaking at the Headquarters of the 17 Brigade, Nigeria Army, Katsina, the Controller solicited the cooperation of the Brigade Commander, Brigadier-General Oluremi Ayobami Fadairo, in curbing transborder crimes in the state.

He advocated the need for a joint security taskforce and credible intelligence sharing among military and paramilitary agencies in the state to tame transborder crimes and other security challenges bedeviling the state.

“The Nigerian Army and the Nigeria Customs Service from time immemorial have been working in the areas of border management, intelligence sharing, and capacity building. So, I am here to further cement the existing relationship and to do more”, he said.

Responding, Fadairo said the Nigerian Army will continue to work assiduously with the NCS in tackling transborder crimes, banditry, and other security challenges in the state.

At the State Police Command, the Controller, told the Commissioner of Police, Aliyu Abubakar Musa, that the Customs is ever-ready to work with the police to facilitate trade in the state without compromising national security.

According to him, “We are also going to resuscitate the joint security taskforce and other security measures that will help in nipping in the bud banditry and other crimes in the society”.

In his remarks, CP Musa said the command would accord the NCS the needed cooperation and support to address smuggling and other transborder crimes for development and legitimate economic activities to thrive.

He, however, said the synergy among security agencies in the state had significantly reduced the spate of crime and criminality, especially in frontline local government areas of the state, including Katsina town.

“It is because of that synergy that people are attesting that security has improved greatly in Katsina. The synergy should not only be visiting each other but let it go down to our other ranks”, CP Musa added.

Umar, who also visited the Controller of the Nigeria Immigration Service, Mohammed Adamu, where he also advocated the need for synergy to end the activities of those he termed economic saboteurs.

He said the NCS was desirous of a collaborative effort of all security agencies towards intelligence sharing, decimating criminals, and providing a peaceful atmosphere for Nigerians.

In his response, Controller Adamu described the courtesy call as the right step towards cementing the already existing relationship among security agencies in the state.

He said the foreigners were uncovered through a recent census conducted by the Command and many of them had been repatriated back to their countries because their “stay in Katsina was not legal.”

Similarly, Umar visited the Katsina State Commands of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Nigeria Correctional Service (NCSo) and the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) where they all assured readiness to ensure effective partnership in all ramifications for better service delivery in the State.