THE Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has said
that the ongoing border drill in four of the country’s six geo-political
zones has drastically reduced the incidents of cattle rustling,
kidnapping, armed banditry and other forms of insecurity in the
North-West zone of the country.
The minister disclosed this at the Customs border station in Magama
Jibia in Katsina State, on Monday when he led a Federal Government
delegation on a visit to Sector Four (North-West) of the border drill,
code-named ‘Exercise Swift Response’.
“The drill has drastically curtailed the inflow of arms and
ammunition. Bandits and terrorists are finding it hard to procure arms
and ammunition, hence we have recorded a reduction in cases of cattle
rustling, kidnapping and armed banditry, which were predominant in the
North-West Region,” he said.
The minister disclosed that the arms and ammunition being used by violent
extremists and criminal elements no longer make their way into the
country through the land borders.
He also said that the smuggling of petroleum products, which has
also been prominent through the borders in the North-West, had been
curtailed due to the closure of filling stations along the border.
“There are hundreds of filling stations along the border. We counted
many as we drove to the border this morning. They were set up
purposely for smuggling. They don’t sell the fuel consignment they
receive to the public, plus 50% of them are owned by foreigners. Now
that they are closed, we have recorded over 30% reduction in domestic
fuel consumption,” the minister said.
He said the Customs, which used to record about N4.5 billion as
revenue daily, is now posting between N5 billion and N8 billion
According to the minister, the North-West sector, out of the four sectors
affected by the drill, has recorded the highest success in terms of
reduction of illegal migration as a result of the closure of the
He clarified that the exercise is not targeted at any region in the
country, neither is it designed to cripple businesses in any part of
the country as being insinuated in some quarters.
The minister noted that on the contrary, since the commencement of the
exercise, local businesses across the country have continued to thrive
as farmers and rice millers in particular are now having a high
turnover on their investments.
‘Exercise Swift Response’ was launched on Aug. 20, 2019 as part of the
measures to secure Nigeria’s land and maritime borders, and comprises
the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS,
the Armed Forces of Nigeria, AFN, as well as the Nigeria Police Force,
NPF, and other security and intelligence agencies and it is
co-ordinated by the Office of the National Security Adviser.
A statement by Segun Adeyemi, Special Assistant to the President, Media, Office of the Minister of Information and Culture, on Monday, said that the Federal Government delegation also included the Minister of State
for Finance, Budget and National Planning, Clement Agba; the
Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Miriam
Katagum and the Deputy Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs
Service, Augustine Chidi and the Deputy Comptroller General of
It added that the delegation had earlier visited the Seme Border on November 25.
– Dec. 03, 2019 @ 17:30 GMT |