Agency canvasses better border security, accuses monarchs of aiding smugglers
For effective checks on the activities of smugglers in Nigeria, traditional rulers at some boarder towns must synergise with men and officers of the Nigeria Custom Service (NCS) and sister agencies, Coordinator, Joint Border Drill Operations, North Central Zone, Sector 3 Ilorin, Mohammed Garba, has said.
Appraising the activities of the special task force, ‘Swift Response’, comprising military, police and immigration personnel, during a press briefing in Ilorin yesterday, Garba accused some traditional rulers at the border settlements of aiding smugglers but praised many other patriotic ones.
Bukoro, Alapa, Chikanda and Babanla are some Nigerian border towns with Benin Republic.
He said: “No country in the world has been able to stamp out smuggling completely, but it can be brought to the lowest level through collaboration with community dwellers and leaders, including members of the press.
“Many smugglers are harboured by traditional rulers at border towns. Yet many other monarchs are assisting us.”
Garba noted that since July 26 this year, Sector 3 recorded 111 seizures of different items, especially the seizure of 1,212 bags of fertilisers with a duty paid value of N16.968 million.
“For those who follow history very well, the devastating fire outbreak at Beirut, Lebanon, that killed over 100 people and destroyed an entire community was caused by ammonium nitrate, one of the compounds used in manufacturing fertiliser.
“The Federal Government discouraged the importation of fertiliser because of some unscrupulous elements in Nigeria who import them not for agricultural purposes, but to perpetrate evil acts. Based on this, clearance for the importation of fertiliser must obtain approval through the Office of National Security Adviser (ONSA).”
He added that 15 Benin Republic nationals, who allegedly entered the country through bush path via Labor/Okuta/Taso road, were equally intercepted and repatriated.