Traditional rulers in Ogun State have warned traders across the state to embrace legitimate trading and shun dealing in smuggled items.
The Alake and Paramount ruler of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo, and the Agura of Gbaguraland, Oba Sabur Bakre, said this in Abeokuta while hosting the new Controller of Ogun Area 1 Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Comptroller Makinde Bamidele, who paid them a courtesy visit.
The monarchs in their separate remarks urged traders in the state to accord the law of the land its due respect as far as trading activities are concerned.
At the Alake’s palace, the monarch pledged the support of the traditional rulers in the state for the Customs towards ensuring that smuggling activities are suppressed across the state.
The monarch said, “Aside from the crude oil, Customs Service, through its excise duties and border revenue collection, remains the next viable revenue-generating outfit to the coffers of the federal government and must be supported in all her operations.
“I will advise my people, especially traders to shun smuggling and embrace legitimate business.”
Oba Gbadebo, however, declared that his palace would not disturb the Customs’ operations in the state but continually pray for the successes of the NCS personnel because of the enormous tasks they render to the country with dedication.
On his part, Oba Bakre assured the new NCS Comptroller that the traditional institution in the state would do its best towards ensuring that the traders in their respective domains embrace legitimate trading, stressing that crimes is not a way out of the current economic hardship being experienced nationwide.
The monarch said, “Our people must shun smuggling. They must engage in legitimate business to help out the economy.”
Makinde, while speaking at the palaces of the two monarchs, said his command understood the roles of the traditional rulers as a grassroot institution highly necessary in the crusade against smuggling, particularly when citizenry enlightenment is needed.
Makinde, however, urged the monarchs not to relent in their efforts, but continually enlighten their subjects on the dangers and the economic implications of dealing in smuggled items, notwithstanding the current economic situation of the country.
“We decided to come to our traditional rulers to solicit their support against smuggling. They are stakeholders and we want to seek their help in the fight against smuggling.”
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