Seven months into the ongoing border drill for the partial border closure, codenamed Exercise SWIFT Response, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has said that 697 illegal migrants have been arrested.
National Public Relations Officer (NPRO) of the Service, Mr. Joseph Attah also said that goods worth seven billion, three hundred and fifty million, eight hundred and eighteen thousand, six hundred and fifty seven Naira, seventy Kobo (N7, 350,818,657.70) had been seized by the Service as at March 6, 2020.
Attah gave the breakdown of the seizures to include 86,602-50kg bags of parboiled foreign rice; 695 bags of NPK fertilizer; 1,172 vehicles; 2,997 drums filled with PMS; 16,771 empty 200 litre Drums of PMS; 90 engine boats; 68 drums of groundnut oil; 26 trucks (33,000 litres) of PMS; 14,604 Jerricans of PMS; 656 motorcycles; 15,089 Jerricans of PMS, vegetable oil; among other items.
He noted that the exercise had continued to yield positive results adding that it had saved the country huge resources and enhanced national security.
“For instance, the importation of drugs and proliferation of small arms and light weapons which usually fuel terrorism and other forms of criminality in the country have been considerably curtailed. Meanwhile, the agricultural sector has also received a boost due to the restriction placed on the importation of rice and other prohibited food items.
“The Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) which is coordinating the exercise has continued to record large numbers of seizures and arrests from the 4 sectors of the North-West, North-Central, South-West, and South-South geopolitical zones”, he said.
The Customs Spokesman however pointed out that Nigeria remained committed to the ongoing diplomatic engagements to finding lasting solutions to the concerns that necessitated the partial border closure.
According to him, “It would be recalled that apart from the ongoing Tripartite Technical Committee meetings comprising Nigeria, Benin and Niger Republic; Ministers in charge of ECOWAS Affairs and Trade of Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Niger, Nigeria and Togo met on the 15 February 2020 at Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso to assess the partial border closure and its impact on the sub-region. Overall, the government is fully committed to the recommendations of the respective Committees.
“However, the priority remains to keep our borders safe from any inimical activity that would compromise our national interests and by extension our national security. We therefore thank all Nigerians, especially the business community for their continuous support.”
Photo: National Public Relations Officer, Nigeria Customs Service, Mr. Joseph Attah.
Send your news, press releases/articles to email@example.com. Also, follow us on Twitter @ptreporters and on Facebook on facebook.com/primetimereporters or call the editor on 07030661526, 08053908817.