Nigeria Customs Trains Officers To Combat Illegal Wildlife Trade, Trafficking

By Mohammed Baba

Nigeria Customs Service Special Wildlife Office has taken a strategic step to support the global effort to end Wildlife Crime in Nigeria as it celebrates World Wildlife Day.

NCS, in its arrangements to further develop the capacity of the officers and men of the service in actualizing its objectives held meetings with a team of International partners and the United States International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) in Lagos.

According to the plans, NCS will further get training assistance to develop expertise and provide modern teaching aids to boost the facilities on the ground at the Customs Training College, Ikeja.

The Commandant, Compt. Haniel Hadison, who led the partners in an on-the-spot assessment of the Customs Training College (CTC) facilities, told the visitors that the facility was ready to receive their support.

He added that “The Nigeria Customs Service already has the facilities, it is just about bringing them up to standard”

“Nigeria Customs cannot attain set objectives without collaborating with relevant organisations, and that is what we are experiencing at the moment,” he said.

Hardison applauded the Comptroller-General of Customs, Mr Adewale Adeniyi, and the customs’ management team for their continued support of the Special Wildlife Office of the service.

On the celebration of United Nations World Wildlife Day (WWD), Mr Hadison revealed that the wildlife office is re-strategizing and “that is why the college, being where the wildlife office of the Nigeria Customs is domiciled, is hosting our international partners and their Donors.”

Also speaking on the institution’s areas of need for capacity building, Hadison stated: “Now that everything is centred around technology, we would need them (international partners) to bring in their capabilities and competencies in the use of technology in the fight against illegal activities.

He warned perpetrators of illegal wildlife trade and trafficking that the agency remains resolute in fighting such crimes in the country, adding that the training is expected to begin in the next few months.

On her part, the officer in charge of the NCS Special Wildlife Office, a Counter Wildlife Crime expert and Technical Advisor: Abimbola Isafiade, commended the visit of the collaborators, stating that it means “the agency is improving as the world is improving, and it means more successes for the future.”

“So, the capacity building will now go far and wide; we want to train practically all officers and men of Nigeria Customs Service and this is what this exercise has come to establish needs assessment”.