Nigerian Customs – a paramilitary display

June 5, 2012 — Leave a comment

Ports.co.za reports that Nigerian Customs Service has signed an agreement for the delivery of two 24 metre P249 patrol craft, which will use them to combat smuggling and piracy.The supplier is a Cape Town based outfit called Kobus Naval Design (KND). In the context of intra-Africa trade this deal should be considered a real scoop. Kobus Potgieter, CEO of Kobus Naval Design (KND), confirmed that his company had received the order and would deliver the vessels in ten months’ time. The aluminium vessels will be built in Cape Town. This will be the sixth KND designed vessel in the Nigerian waters delivered over the last couple of years. The company is also busy with a dive boat contract for the oil and gas industry in Nigeria.

Nigeria’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) also recently approved N1.7 billion (US$11 million) for the purchase of a Cessna Citation CJ4 aircraft for the Customs Service. The aircraft would be used for surveillance missions along Nigeria’s borders and would help combat economic sabotage and cross-border crimes. Alhaji Mohammed Dikko, the Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Customs Service, said that his agency had already acquired the helicopters for surveillance of Nigeria’s borders and added that President Goodluck Jonathan had approved the purchase of 400 Toyota Hilux vehicles for border patrol.

Border control is an increasingly important issue in Nigeria. Militant groups in the oil-producing Niger Delta have been illegally supplying weapons for years and Boko Haram is also believed to have received illegal arms, raising questions about border surveillance, especially after reports that weapons looted from Libya have turned up in Nigeria. Source: Ports.co.za and Defenceweb.co.za

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