…Stakeholders opine pains outweighs gains of Task Force***
The Inter-Security Task Force set up by the Federal Government to conduct joint border security in four geopolitical zones says it has arrested 100 illegal migrants.
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Public Relations Officer Mr. Joseph Attah disclosed this in Abuja on Tuesday, highlighting that 8,360 of 50kg bags of parboiled foreign rice, 122 bags of fertilizer were seized by operatives at various zones., alongside other items which included 77 vehicles, 781 drums filled with Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) as well as 16,371 empty 200 litres drums to be used for smuggling of PMS and 1,491 packs of assorted drugs, were also impounded.
Ironically, the views of some industry stakeholders, in respect of the seizures, were that the pains of border closure and losses incurred by investors, far outweighed the acclaimed gains of the Inter-Security Task Force.
Attah added that three outboard 40HP Engines, 13 Cotonue boats, 185 drums of groundnut oil, six trucks, 114 motorcycles among other items were also confiscated.
He disclosed that the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd), Comptroller-General of Immigration, Mohammed Babandede and the Coordinator of the exercise, Brig.-Gen Emmanuel Ndagi, had commenced on the spot assessment to find out level of implementation and compliance.
The spokesperson said the exercise was intended to better secure the borders, boost national economy and strengthen border security.
Attah appealed to Nigerians, especially members of the business community to see the exercise as an opportunity to further create a conducive environment for local businesses to thrive in the overall interest of national security and development.
The exercise involves the NCS, NIS, the Armed Forces, Police and other security and intelligence agencies; and the intensive joint border patrol is being coordinated by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) in the four zones of North West, North Central, South West, and South-South.
Some Nigerians whose views were sought in response to the border closure were however aggrieved, that the little gains of the task force could not ameliorate the huge losses of the investors, as well as the measurable pains they have suffered in the course of boarder closure.