The Nigeria Customs Service on Tuesday disclosed that Joint Security Operatives have seized items valued at N7.3 billion in seven months of partial border closure by the Federal Government.
The Customs’ Public Relations Officer, Mr Joseph Attah, in a statement in Abuja said the operatives, code named ‘Exercise SWIFT Response’, arrested 697 illegal migrants and seized 86,602 of 50kg bags of parboiled foreign rice.
He said the operatives intercepted 695 bags of NPK fertilizer, 1,172 vehicles, 2,997 drums filled with Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), 16,771 empty 200 litre Drums of PMS, 90 engine boats; 68 drums of groundnut oil.
Attah stated that 26 trucks of 33,000 litres of PMS, 14,604 Jerricans of PMS, 656 motorcycles, 15,089 Jerricans of PMS, vegetable oil; among other items were seized.
He noted that the exercise had continued to yield positive results and had saved the country huge resources and enhanced national security.
He said: “For instance, the importation of drugs and proliferation of small arms and light weapons which usually fuel terrorism and other forms of criminality in the country has been considerably curtailed.
“Meanwhile, the agricultural sector has also received a boost due to the restriction placed on the importation of rice and other prohibited food items.
“Nonetheless, Nigeria remains committed to ongoing diplomatic engagements to finding lasting solutions to the concerns that necessitated the partial border closure.
“It would be recalled that apart from the ongoing Tripartite Technical Committee meetings comprising Nigeria, Benin and Niger Republic; Ministers in charge of ECOWAS Affairs and Trade of Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Niger, Nigeria and Togo met on February 15, 2020 at Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso to assess the partial border closure and its impact on the sub-region.
“Overall, the government is fully committed to the recommendations of the respective Committees,” he added.