The Federal Government on Monday said no fewer than 1,375 irregular migrants were arrested while the border drill code-named, ”Exercise Swift Response, ” lasted.
The border drill held between August 20, 2019 and December 17, 2020.
Speaking at a news conference in Lagos, Minister of Information and Culture Alhaji Lai Mohammed said the border drill was a huge success.
The minister said the seizures so far during the period included 157,511 – 50kg bags of parboiled foreign rice, 10,447 bags of NPK fertiliser used for making explosives and 18,630 jerry cans of vegetable oil.
The total monetary value of the seized items, according to him, is about N12.362 billion.
The “Exercise Swift Response” was launched as part of efforts to secure the land and maritime borders in the Southsouth, Southwest, Northcentral and Northwest from smuggling and irregular migration.
The exercise coordinated by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) was meant to boost the national economy and strengthen border security.
Officials of the Nigeria Customs Service, the Nigerian Immigration Service, the armed forces of Nigeria as well as the Nigeria Police force and other security and intelligence agencies were involved in the exercise.
The minister said the exercise had saved resources and enhanced national security.
He said: “The importation of drugs and proliferation of small arms, which usually fuel violent extremism and terrorism in the country, have been significantly curtailed.
“For instance, 95 per cent of illicit drugs and weapons that are being used for acts of terrorism and kidnapping in the country comes in through our porous borders. However, since the border drill started, this importation has been drastically reduced.”
Mohammed also said the agricultural sector had received a boost from the drill, with rice production now nearing the level of self-sufficiency for the country while poultry production was at a high level.
He commended security operatives for displaying a high level of professionalism and unflinching commitment to the national assignment.
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