Hammed Shittu in Ilorin
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Coordinator of Joint Border Operations Drill for North Central zone, comprising Kwara, Kogi, Benue and Niger States, Comptroller Mohammed Garba, yesterday disclosed that about N7billion revenue has been generated daily for the federal government since the commencement of the operation in the zone last August.
Speaking with journalists in Ilorin, Kwara State capital, on the activities of the operation in the zone, Garba, however, said: “The revenue generation increase was due to the renewed vigour in the utilisation of cutting-edge strategies in the anti-smuggling war being embarked on by the men of the Service in the zone.”
He stated that “before the beginning of the operation last August, the daily revenue was N4.5 billion, and now it has increased to N7billion daily.”
Garba, who also said the increased revenue was made possible because many illegal border routes were blocked, added that the fight against smuggling and illegal importation was intensified to encourage local agricultural production and development
The zonal Customs boss also said 204 illegal migrants were repatriated during the period under review, including 99 Nigeriens,100 Beniniose, three Malians, and two Chinese.
On the joint border drill, consisting of security agencies such as the Immigration, Police, Army, Nigeria Intelligence Agency (NIA), Customs and DSS, he said a total number of 10,000 bags of smuggled rice were seized since the operation started.
The Customs boss, who said the border closure was not targeted at anyone, individual, group of persons or any community, added that it is for the protection of the country’s economy.
“It is no longer news that the federal government on August 20, 2019, precisely, partially closed all land borders for the betterment of the country’s economy, security of the citizen and for our neighbouring countries to abide by ECOWAS protocols,” he said.
Garba also said the zone had seized a total number of 10,201 bags of foreign rice of 50kg each with duty paid value of N173, 417,000.00 equal to 12 trailers of rice since the operations started.
According to him, “Also seized included 52 different types of used vehicles, trucks, trailers and other vehicles used for conveying contraband goods with Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N 88, 854, 500,561 drums of petrol with DPV of N9,480,000.00
“Also, 1,670 tablets of Tramadol of 200mg each and two packs of Rebozel drugs containing 500 tablet each with the cost value of N 165,000,000 the drugs were handed over to NAFDAC; 1,524 Jerricans of petrol with DPV of N12, 633,250.00, 11 motorcycles used to conveyed smuggled goods with DPV of N950, 000.00 were among the goods seized.”
He therefore solicited the support of media in the war against smuggling so as to accelerate the economic growth of Nigeria.