Coordinator, Joint Border Patrol Team (JBPT), North Central Zone, Sector 3 Ilorin, Kwara State, Compt. Olugboyega Peters has disclosed that the closure of the Nigerian borders is yielding positive results.
He said some of the confirmatory results include reduction in smuggling and entry of illegal migrants, improved Agricultural sector which he said made most farmers smile to the banks.
Peters made this disclosure on Tuesday at a media briefing in Ilorin on the activities of the Sector in the last 18 days.
“The border closure has visibly yielded positive results. Some of the confirmatory results include, reduction in Smuggling and entry of illegal migrants. Improved Agricultural sector as most farmers Smile to the banks, daily Revenue Generation of Nigeria Customs Service into federation account has equally increased,” he said.
He noted that the exercise has promoted inter-agency cooperation and increase preparedness to address trans-border security challenges such as terrorism, armed banditry, smuggling, proliferation of small arms and light weapons amongst others.
“Increased consumption of local products, flashpoints of smuggling into Nigeria has been decimated,the tripartite agreement between Nigeria, Niger, and Benin Republic had led to increased cooperation between security agencies of the aforementioned countries,” he added.
Peters urged the media to extend the message to the “enemy” of Nigerian Economy that the sector has stepped up extra measures to combat the influx of foreign rice and other prohibited items into the country.
“Border Closure is not meant to witch hunt members of any community or individual but aimed at encouraging local farmers; control the inflow of arms and ammunition, illegal Immigrant, stop illicit drugs and all other prohibited goods in and out of the country and improve the economy, “he said.
The Customs boss added that the results of their action coupled with the Sector’s renewed drive in utilization of cutting edge strategies in the anti-smuggling war, had led to a single catch (in one Night) of 13 Pick-Up Vans Convoy carefully, technically and locally fabricated for the purpose of smuggling activities. all loaded with 50kg of foreign par boiled rice.
“The breakdown, according to numbers of bags each vehicle were conveying include, four vehicles carrying 79 bags each, total- 316; two vehicles conveying 85 bags each, total- 170; two vehicles transporting 77 bags each, total-154 and five vehicles conveying 80 bags each, total- 400.
“It brings the total number to 1,040 bags of 50kg each (almost two trailers) of foreign parboiled rice classifiable under chapter 1006 of Common External Tariff with duty Paid Value (DPV) of N19.45million.
“Within the space of 18 days, we have recorded 43 seizures from Mokwa-Jebba,Gwanara,Okuta and other axis of the Sector. These include-:23 units of used vehicles,1,274 bags of foreign parboiled rice, one locally made gun, a pistol and 8 cartridges,9 drums of AGO,242 jerri cans of PMS,7 motorcycles,7 jerri cans of 25litres of groundnut oil, the Duty Paid Value (DPV) of the seizure is N61,002,800,” Peters said.
He disclosed that, five suspects were apprehended in connection with the locally made pistol and cartridges adding that the suspects are illegal immigrants and were handed over to the Nigeria Police Force and the Immigration Service for further action.
“The fight against smuggling activities in the North Central axis will continue to receive a sustained momentum that will lead to more seizures and enforcement of Federal Government policies/directives towards curtailing smuggling activities.
“I therefore stress the need for all illicit traders to desist from all illegal trades and try to engage in legitimate businesses.
“We will continue to police our area of operations in line with the Federal Government directives on partial closure of our National Borders,” he added.