- Inaugurates platform to fight smuggling
Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari saturday in Abuja ordered a crackdown on security agents conniving with smugglers to undermine the federal government’s efforts to curtail illegal goods traffic at the country’s borders.
Buhari inaugurated a body, OPERATION SWIFT RESPONSE, to serve as a platform for checking illegal activities across Nigeria’s borders.
A statement by Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, described the initiative as a border drill exercise.
According to the statement, the president expressed dismay over information that 295 smuggled petroleum tankers were released without due authorisation on December 17, 2019 by unscrupulous security officials charged with the responsibility of protecting the borders.
The statement said, “Sequel to this act, the National Security Adviser (NSA) was directed to set up a Board of Inquiry to investigate the crime, and it was recommended to the President that all officials (civilian or security operatives) found to have connived to undermine government’s efforts should be withdrawn from the border drill and severely sanctioned by their respective organisations.
“The president has accepted the recommendations and directed the immediate withdrawal and replacement of all those found culpable. He has also directed that their respective organisations should mete immediate appropriate disciplinary actions to them.”
Adesina said the move was part of the federal government’s efforts to guarantee food security and improve local production of goods at competitive prices.
He said “border drill” had been a successful move, which had helped security agents to intercept and seize large quantities of foods, materials, minerals and petroleum resources illegally trafficked through the borders.
He noted that the president commended the security agencies for a job well done.