As the Nigeria Customs service continues to prove its mettle in its cleansing campaign in a North Central Joint Border Operations comprising Kwara, Kogi, Niger and Benue states in North Central Zone of Nigeria, the efforts are yielding positive results.
The leader of the operations code named joint border operations drill sector 3 said it will not relent in its efforts to continue dialogue, engage, sensitize and educate the public on reasons behind border closure, which is aimed at social and economic stability of our dear nation while alongside these efforts, enforcement of government policies will always be accorded utmost priority with strict adherence to extant laws and guidelines.
Addressing a press briefing on Wednesday at the command headquarters in Ilorin, the Ag. Coordinator of the Joint Border Operations, Mohammed Uba Garba showcased the landmark achievements of its command in collaboration with other sister agencies in the efforts to accomplish task assigned to it for effective revenue generation, Suppression of Smuggling, Facilitation of legitimate trade and protecting national security.
Garba reiterated that during the period under review, items of contrabands worth a total Duty Paid Value of One Hundred and Thirty Five Million, One Thousand, Four Hundred Naira (N135, 001,400.00) were seized during several operations and these includes 57 units of vehicles of various types, 1,355 bags of foreign rice (50kg each). Three (3) Long Single Barrel Guns, Knives and 3 Cutlasses at Lokoja axis of Kogi State (these Handed over to “B” division Police Station Lokoja).
Other items showcase included Two (2) Long Single Barrel Guns, 8 life cartridges and one locally made Pistol at Kotangora axis of Niger State, (also handed over to “A” division Police Station Kotangora), 20 Bags of Dried Yam Flour of 100kg each, 1,728 Jerry Cans of PMS/Engine oil (25 liters each), 155 Drums with Petroleum Product and Lubricant oil, 16 Motorcycles popularly called Bajaj, (used in smuggling rice), 12 Bales of Secondhand Clothing and Textile Materials, 68 Jerry Cans of Groundnut Oil of 25 Liters each, 322 Cartons of Foreign Cosmetics and 9 Cartons of Foreign Tin Tomatoes.
He state that seven (7) Beninoise and (13) Nigerien illegal migrants were also repatriated while Six (6) Suspects who were charged to court are said to be currently on Administrative bail.
The customs boss shed more light on reason behind the nationa directive on border closure stating that It creates job opportunities to the teaming youths, helps in reducing banditry, human trafficking and illegal migrants, reduced smuggling activities and therefore enhancing the production of locally made goods.
He further said that this policy helps in tackling security challenges like banditry, kidnapping, smuggling, cattle rustling and illegal migrants while alongside increasing the Revenue Generation potentials of the country as well as improves synergy among other security agencies and the reduction of daily consumption of petroleum product due to blockage of illegal exportation based on available statistical records.
The Ag. Coordinator of the Joint Border Operations made a mention of efforts so far at enlightening stakeholders on the essence of the operation and sought their cooperation. He said “One of our focal points since assumption is sensitization, engagement of stakeholders of all the border communities of Ilesha-Baruba, Yashkira, Chikanda and Okuta axis of Baruten Local Government area of Kwara State. Kaiama-Jebba-Mokwa-Wawa-Babanna-Kotangora axis of Kwara and Niger States respectively. Lokoja-Abuja-Lagos-Express Road of Kogi State and Otukpa, Adikpo-Ugbema axis of Benue State where we met and engaged the Stakeholders and Traditional leaders of the various aforementioned communities.”
“Just last week, IPMAN, PDT, NURTW and Commercial drivers association were invited to this particular spot on the continuation of our sensitization program.”
Bello commended the synergy received from sister agencies, opinion leaders, head of traditional institutions, media, eminent personalities and other law abiding members of the public while seeking further support in the discharge of the command’s statutory functions.