Ilorin — The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Coordinator of Joint Border Operations Drill, for the North-central zone of the country, which is made up of Kwara, Kogi, Benue and Niger states, Comptroller Mohammed Garba has disclosed that about N7billion revenue was being generated daily for the federal government since the commencement of the operation in the zone last August.
Speaking with journalists in Ilorin,Kwara state, yesterday, on the activities of the operation in the zone, the Garba, said, "the revenue generation increase was due to the renewed vigour in the utilisation of cutting edge strategies in the anti-smuggling war being embarked on by the men of the service in the zone."
He said, "before the beginning of the operation in August last year, the daily revenue was N4.5 billion and now it has increased to N7billion daily."
Garba, who also said increased revenue was made possible because many illegal border routes had been blocked, added that the fight against smuggling and illegal importation was intensified to encourage local agricultural production and development.
The Customs boss also said 204 illegal migrants were repatriated during the period under review, including 99 Nigeriens,100 Beniniose, three Malians, and two Chinese.
The joint border drill, consisting of security agencies such as the Immigration, Police, Army, Nigeria Intelligence Agency (NIA), Customs and DSS, he said a total number of 10,000 bags of smuggled rice were seized since the operation started.
The Customs boss, who said the border closure was not targeted at anyone, individual, group of persons or any community, added that it was for the protection of the nation's economy.
"It is no longer news that the federal government on 20th of August, 2019, partially closed all land borders for betterment of the nation's economy, security of the citizen and for our neighbouring countries to abide by ECOWAS protocols," he said.
Garba also said that the zone had seized a total number of 10,201 foreign parboiled rice of 50kg each with duty paid value of N173, 417,000 equal to 12 trailers of rice since the operations started.
"Also seized include 52 different types of used vehicles, trucks, trailers and other vehicles used for conveying Contraband goods with Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N 88, 854, 500,561 drums of Petrol with Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N9,480,000.00).
"1,670 tablets of Tramadol of 200mg each and two packs of Rebozel drugs containing 500 tablet each with cost value of N 165,000,000 (the said Drugs were handed over to NAFDAC),1,524 Jerricans of petrol with Duty Paid Value of N12, 633,250.00, 11 Motorcycles used to conveyed Smuggled goods with Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N950, 000.00.
"Also, 94 pieces of Poisonous Charlie Toothpaste with Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N 33, 840, 00,.68 Tins of Jago Condensed Milk with Duty Paid Value(DPV) of N65,280,000 pieces of washing Soap with Duty Paid Value of N 9,600,128 pieces of poisonous "Read a Dream" Insecticide with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N92,160.00."
Garba stated further that, "smuggling is a crime and we will continue to treat those who engage in it as criminals.
"We will continue to police our areas of operations in line with the federal government directives on partial closure of our national borders."