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BORDER CLOSURE: Customs confiscates N7.4bn goods, arrests 697 in 7 months

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A total of 697 illegal migrants have been apprehended while smuggled goods estimated at N7.4 billion have been confiscated seven months after the partial closure of Nigeria’s borders began.

Hameed Ali, the Comptroller General of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) states this in a statement on Tuesday.

The retired colonel confirmed in the statement signed by the agency’s Public Relations Officer, Joseph Attah that the border closure policy had helped the country save enormous resources and boost national security.

Ali said it had helped curb drug importation and small arms proliferation, two harmful practises that promote terrorism and crime in the country, significantly.

Colonel Ali noted the contribution that border closure had made to agricultural expansion in the country notably in the area of improved local production of rice and other forbidden food items.

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“The Office of the National Security Adviser which is coordinating the exercise has continued to record large number of seizures and arrests from the four sectors of the North-West, North-Central, South-West, and South-South geopolitical zones,” the customs chief said.

He went further to mention that 697 illegal migrants had been nabbed as of 6th March 20202 while seizures such as 86,602 50kg bags of parboiled foreign rice, 695 bags of NPK fertiliser, 2,997 drums filled with Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), 1,172 vehicles, 90 boat engines and 16,771 empty 200 litre drums of PMS had been made.

“Others are 68 drums of groundnut oil; 26 trucks (33,000 litres) of PMS; 14,604 jerricans of PMS; 656 motorcycles; 15,089 jerricans of PMS, vegetable oil. The estimated monetary value of the seizures is N7,350,818,657.70,” he said.

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