In continuation of its sensitization program, the Joint Border Operations Drill Sector 3 Ilorin Kwara State, led by Comptroller Mohammed Uba Garba Friday met with Textiles, Shoes, Veils and Market Women association of Kwara State Chapter.
According to a statement by the state Public Relations Officer, Mr Chado Zakari, the interactive session was held both in English and Yaruba languages.
The Coordinator stressed to the stakeholders that the border closure is to encourage local farmers and industries to strive and to provide job opportunities for the teaming youths.
He also added that the closure has not only enhanced security in the nation, but has ensured a secure environment and boost revenue generation for the Nigeria Customs Service.
The coordinator mentioned that the border closure sector recorded some major seizures such as; 12,255 Bags of Rice, 252,000 liters of (Petroleum) PMS, 6,617 liters of AGO, 177 Vehicles, 80 Motorcycles, 160 Illegal Migrants and 11 Illicit Weapons recovered from suspected hoodlums.
He disclosed that the estimated monetary value of the seized goods is put at N703, 746,780.00.
The Comptroller reemphasize his mission in the sector which is to enforce Federal Government directives and policies on partial border closure, even as he disclosed that movement of persons with valid traveling document from 6.am-6pm is still enforce.
He warned the association not to patronize or sell smuggled goods and also advised textile material dealers buying their goods from Kano to always have a copy of Single Goods Declaration Form (SGD) used to pay for their goods from the original importers to avoid their goods being seized.
The Coordinator sought assistance from the associations to partner with the sector by embarking on sensitization program for their members which is capable of dissuading smugglers, those patronizing them and those who work against the interest of the nation.
Contrary to erroneous belief in some quarters, the Customs boss explained that Section-147 of Customs and Exercise Law empowers Customs officers to search and raid any premises suspected to be housing smuggled goods. He said, “As such, any shop, company or house identified to be stocked with smuggled goods will not be spared.”
He declared that in line with the President’s transformation agenda especially in the area of security the service has essentially keyed into protecting the borders from infiltration of dangerous weapons and destructive materials.
The coordinator also took time to list the achievements of Sector 3 since border closure, among which is; Reduction in smuggling of illicit arms used for terrorism/crime, illegal drugs, and Sub-standard foods with potential to cause health hazards.
“Other achievements included; Reduction in human/Child Trafficking and illegal migration, Reduction in the quantity of PMS consumed daily in Nigeria by about 10 million liters.
“This is presumed to be the average quantity of PMS usually smuggled from Nigeria daily into neighboring countries through the numerous petrol stations along the border communities.
“In addition to that, there has been increase in government revenue accrued from payment of Nigeria Customs Service duties, Provision of enabling environment to boost local production especially area of Agriculture, Enhancement of security across Kwara State/North Central zone, Denial of freedom of movement to criminals and reduction in criminal activities and crime rate across the state and zone and Nigeria in general,” he said.