Seizures worth N7,350,818,657.70 , have been made and 697 illegal immigrants arrested by The Federal Government , Border Drill , led by the operatives of the Nigerian Customs Service(NCS) ,but which comprises personnel of the Nigerian Immigration Service(NCS) , Police among others, as at March 6, this year , seven months after it began operation, sequel to the partial closure of Nigeria’s Borders with its neighbouring countries.
The goods impounded 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.
According to a Statement issued by the Customs Public Relations Officer(PRO), DC Joseph Attah,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.
Customs said the border drill for the partial border closure, codenamed ‘Exercise SWIFT Response’, has continued to yield positive results as it has saved the country huge resources and enhanced national security.
It stated that 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 ,while the agricultural sector has also received a boost due to the restriction placed on the importation of rice and other prohibited food items
The Statement said ,’’nonetheless, Nigeria remains committed to ongoing diplomatic engagements to finding lasting solutions to the concerns that necessitated the partial border closure.
‘’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’’.
The Customs disclosed that the priority remains to keep Nigeria’s borders safe from any inimical activity that would compromise its national interests and by extension its national security, thanking all Nigerians, especially the business community for their continuous support.