Following the reopening of the country’s border, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) says officials under Operation Swift Response (OSR) have transformed into a joint border patrol team.
This was disclosed in a statement issued on Thursday by Joseph Attah, NCS public relations officer, the agency said the new security outfit is made up of officers from Nigeria, Republic of Benin, and the Niger Republic.
“In a renewed effort to combat smuggling, irregular migration and other transitional organised crimes along the nation’s border coupled with the gradual reopening of the borders, Operation SWIFT RESPONSE (OSR) which was launched in August 2019 and coordinated by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) has transformed into Nigeria’s Joint Border Patrol Team (JBPT) as part of a Tripartite Operation, comprising Benin, Niger, and Nigeria,” the statement read.
It said the importation of items such as parboiled rice, frozen chicken, illicit drugs amongst others are still prohibited despite the re-opening of the country’s land borders for commercial activities.
According to the statement, the patrol team have seized illegal items valued at N12.5 billion as of January 5.
A breakdown showed that 159,506.7 (50kg) bags of parboiled foreign rice, 10,447 bags of NPK fertilizer used for making explosives, 1,974 vehicles, 895 motorcycles and 18,690 jerrycans of vegetable oil were seized.
The NCS also said irregular migrants have also been arrested.