Assorted prohibited goods worth ₦12,538,333,545.50 were impounded and 1,201 irregular migrants arrested in one year and four months between August 2019 and January 5,2021 by operations SWIFT RESPONSE which has now metamorphosed into the Joint Border Patrol Team(JBPT) ,sequel to the gradual reopening of the borders ,
The Operations SWIFT RESPONSE which comprises security agencies of Nigeria , Niger and Benin Republic had taken charge of the patrol of the borders between Nigeria and the other countries for the period of the border closure before it transformed to the JBPT.
The Public Relations Officer(PRO) of the Nigerian Customs Service(NCS) , DC Joseph Attah disclosed the figures in a statement he issued on behalf of the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), the coordinator of the SWIFT RESPONSE now JBPT.
He said that the total seizures were 159,506.7-(50kg) bags of parboiled foreign rice; 10,447 bags of NPK fertilizer used for making explosives; 1,974 vehicles; 895 motorcycles,18,690.3 jerricans of vegetable oil, among other seized items.
According to him, with the reopening of the borders for commercial activities, items such as parboiled rice, frozen chicken, illicit drugs, among others remain prohibited.
The Statement however pointed out that the National Security Adviser (NSA), Major General Babagana Monguno (rtd) in a goodwill message to the transformed Operation SWIFT RESPONSE, applauded the unflinching commitment of the security operatives to the national assignment, and urged them not to rest on their oars.
It said that the NSA further stated that the joint patrols would be adequately administered, while he charged the Nigerian Security operatives to display a high level of professionalism during the operation with their neighbouring counterparts, considering the fact that Nigeria has a widely acclaimed track record of security operations ,not just at the ECOWAS level, but the world at large.
The Customs PRO disclosed that the operatives have been able to curb smuggling of illicit drugs and proliferation of small arms and light weapons used to exacerbate violent extremism and terrorism in some parts of the country , apart from the quantum of seizures of prohibited items and numbers of arrested irregular migrants.
He stated that Nigeria’s priority remains keeping the borders safe from any inimical activity that will compromise its national interests and expressed the NSA’s appreciation to the business community for their continuous support .