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Smuggling still thriving in Taraba, Cameroun borders

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The Federal Government’s dreams of encouraging locally-made goods and boosting food production in the country is gradually being sabotaged in Taraba State, as smuggling activities continue to thrive, despite closure of all land borders by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The state, which shares common boundary with Cameroun, according to The Guardian’s findings, continued to witness influx of banned items, especially in councils sharing common boundary with Cameroun.

Foreign items, including rice, beverages, fabrics, second hands clothes and shoes, among others, continue to find their way into Nigeria on daily basis through the various routes leading to and from Sardauna Council of the state.

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The smuggled goods, which have taken over all the available spaces in markets operating within the council, are also causing low patronage of locally-made good, as most buyers, who spoke to The Guardian in some of the markets visited, said they are better.

It was discovered in some of the councils sharing boundaries with the francophone country that the security agents charged with halting the influx of foreign goods across the border tend to aid the trade of keep a blind eye.

Investigation by The Guardian further revealed that some prominent personalities within and outside the state, who do not believed in the Nigeria contents, are behind the activities.

One of the smugglers threatened to deal with The Guardian correspondent should their activities be exposed to the public, saying: “Who are you to stop our business when we know the type of people behind us?”

Citing markets in Mubi Council of Adamawa State, where he said smuggled goods “are all over the place” he said: “If we did not get the backing of some of the security agencies and some persons within and outside this state, you think we would not have been long arrested and if possible thrown into the unemployed market?”

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Some checkpoints visited at the late hours of the day, where smuggling activities mostly take place, indicated beehives of activities, as the camp boys and officials were busy negotiating with smugglers.

Another smuggler told The Guardian that the success of their businesses is the supports they have being receiving from some groups of persons and individuals, as they usually contribute certain amounts grease the palms of security operatives.

He urged the Federal Government to lift the ban on land borders closure, adding: “If government opens the borders, definitely the amount we are presently spending to bring in our goods would be reduced.”

A security operative in one of the border outpost, who pleaded anonymity, offered to escort The Guardian out of the border outposts to Gembu, the administrative headquarters of Sardauna Council, blamed poor remunerations as reason “why we sometimes allow these people to go on with their business.”

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