…Revenue from IMAN enough to fund the country – Obi
By Myke Uzendu
The Director General of the Importers Association of Nigeria (IMAN) Special Task Force, Ambassador Chijioke Okoro has disclosed that IMAN operatives provided the lead for the interception of 27 containers loaded with assorted weapons recently in Lagos.
Okoro said that aside revenue from oil, importation was the next in revenue generation for the country and called on the National Assembly and the Federal Government to give the agency all the necessary support so that it can get the needed legislation, to be emboldened to frustrate the activities of smugglers and generate more revenue for the country.
The Director General made the disclosure at the weekend in Abuja during its Annual General Briefing and Award ceremony which was chaired by former Inspector General of Police Mike Okiro and also a former Chairman of IMAN.
He assured that IMAN has all it takes to frustrate the activities of smugglers and shore up more revenue for the country if it’s bill that has passed second reading is giving all legislative attention and signed into law within the shortest moment.
He said, “The 27 containers that was intercepted in Lagos, it was a very huge success that has never been recorded with such a huge amount of arms, so we did it and some other ones.
Going down memory lane to announce the history of IMAN and its achievements he continued,
“Since we came onboard as a special task force, we decided to assist government in fighting against insecurity and economic sabotage. While we were doing these things we observed a lot of things that were affecting the economy which may be the government is not aware of, but it is going on and I can tell you and I can prove it.
“What is generated from importers association alone can take care of this country if properly managed. But a lot of things are happening along the line that money generated is not getting to government purse as required, that is economic sabotage, another one is insecurity.
“That is why we gathered ourselves to push that this economy should be growing, that we support the government in growing the economy so that this will stop because we have all it takes to take good care of this country.
“On the side of insecurity we have recorded a lot of successes, we have exposed a lot of things and you know that doing this type of job, you will step on peoples toes, you burst crimes while doing this job because there is a lot of concealments. People try by all means to maneuver. You will be at the boarder and you will see a situation where somebody will load ammunitions in their thousands into a jerrycan in the name of groundnut oil. You will see a lot of vehicles crossing you without being checked and that is how all these arms are coming into this country.
“So we have decided to volunteer ourselves to checkmate some of the activities of some of our members that engages in some of these illegal activities because it is about to consume this our country and we are here to say no to that, to make sure that insecurity in this country is stopped.
“It is not a business of one man, it is not something that can be left in the hands of security agents alone, you and I can assist, we can combat it together because whenever you notice a particular thing and inform the authorities that be, action will be taken to that place and in that case you have succeeded in contributing you won quota”.
He called on the officers to intensity action and ensure that everything is done to curb criminality in their areas of operations.
Earlier, the Chairman of Board of Trustee (BoT), Gilbert Obi, popularly known as Bravo West Africa said that importation is next in oil revenue in the country and called on the federal government to play its parts to ensure that IMAN gets the needed support.
“The Federal government has not done what we have been expecting them to do. IMAN is playing a very important role. In Nigeria today, after revenue from oil, it is importation and the importers are generating a lot of funds.
“We have made a lot of catch in the past. We all know the situation of things in Nigeria and I think that IMAN has a role to play.
“You also know as well as I know that a lot of small arms and light weapons are coming into this country through so many ways. IMAN has done a lot of things to expose all those things” Obi stated.
Also in his remarks, Senator Yusuf Abubakar represented by Hon. Hamza Zubairu said that the National Assembly will do everything within its power to ensure that the IMAN bill gets all the required support at the National Assembly.
The highpoint of the occasion was the inspection of guard of honour by the Director General and conferring of Award to former IG Mike Okiro and Senator Yusuf Abubakar Yusuf.
The event was attended by Secretary-General of the IMAN Special Taskforce, Alhaji Aliyu Yar’Adua,, other officials and representatives from all the states in the country.