• Makes 65 seizures, arrests 7 suspected smugglers

From John Adams, Minna

Despite the security challenges bedevilling parts of Niger and Kogi States, the Customs Area Command in charge of Niger-Kogi State has said that the Command realised N77,271,851:00 from Demand Notices (D/Ns) in 2023.

The Comptroller, Niger-Kogi Area Command, Mr Busayo O Kadejo, who disclosed this while briefing newsmen in Minna on the activities of the Command in the year under review, said that though the Niger-Kogi Area Command is the largest hinterland border in the country, it has only one border at banana in Borgu local government area of Niger State.

Mr Kadejo disclosed that a total of 65 seizures with a cumulative duty paid value of N203,301,933:00 were made within the period.

The Comptroller pointed out that the sized items includes exotic cars, Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), among others, stressing that no fewer than seven suspected smugglers were apprehended in December 2023 while attempting to smuggle prohibited items through it land border in into the country.

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He stated further that in December 2023 alone, the Command intercepted eight exotic cars and 35 Jerry-cans of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) with a duty paid value of N194,780,000, adding that in addition to this, the Command also recovered a total sum of N12,605,439.00 principally from Demand Notices (D/Na).

To achieve this success, the Customs Boss said the Command deployed massive intelligence and applied the rules of engagement, adding that the Command recorded no casualty on the side of his personnel between January and December 2023.

He therefore warned smugglers and other criminally minded elements within the Command that the Nigerian Customs will not spare anyone no matter how highly placed, stressing that “our job is to execute government policies. We will discover all their illegal routes and ways used in smuggling, we will make seizures, effects arrests, and crippled their illegal operations.”

While appealing to the border communities within the Command to avail his men with useful information on the activities of smugglers, the Comptroller commended other sister security agencies for the robust synergy and working relationship with the Command.