FG highlights benefits of border closure
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The Federal Government on Monday, said items estimated at N3.5 billion have so far been apprehended with the partial closure of its land and maritime borders with neighbouring countries.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, disclosed this on Monday at Seme, a border town between and Benin Republic

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Mohammed is among the Federal Government ministerial delegation on inspection and assessment of the potency of the border closure directive.

Other members of the delegation are, Ministers of Interior, Rauf , Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyema, Minister of State, and National Planning, Clement Agba.

The National Security Adviser, Gen. Babagana Monguno (rtd), Comptroller-General of Immigration, Mohammed Babandede and the Comptroller-General of Customs who was represented by a Deputy Comptroller-General are in the delegation.

Addressing newsmen after the inspection, the minister said no fewer than 296 illegal immigrants had been arrested during the ongoing exercise.

“In the area of security, the ongoing exercise has recorded a number of seizures and arrests that would have had grave security consequences.

“Some items seized include; 38,743-50kg bags of parboiled foreign rice, 514 vehicles, 1,012 drums filled with PMS, 5,400 Jerri cans of vegetable oil, 346 motorcycles, 10, 553 Jerri cans of PMS and 136 bags of NPK fertilizer used for making explosives.

“The estimated values of the apprehended items is about ₦3,5 billion,’’ he said.

The minister said that the partial closure had so far curbed the smuggling of foreign rice into the country, in addition to other prohibited items.

He said that as a of the closure, Niger Republic had already circulated an order banning exportation of rice in any form to Nigeria.

“Our series of interactions and engagements with Rice Miller Association of Nigeria since the commencement of this exercise, has shown that the border closure has enhanced more production and milling of Nigerian rice.

“Patronage of Nigerian rice has increased and farmers are expanding their farms as well as engaging more hands.

“The border exercise has also curbed diversion of petroleum products from Nigeria to neighbouring countries.

“Furthermore, the border closure has impacted positively on revenue generation of the Federal Government which in turn will be used to build more infrastructure and develop critical sectors of the nation’s ,” he said.

“The minister said that 95 per cent of illicit drugs and weapons being used for act of terrorism and kidnapping in Nigeria come in through the porous borders.

“He, however, noted that since the partial closure, the acts had been drastically reduced.

“Our conclusion is that, the arms and ammunition these terrorists and criminal elements were using no longer gain access into the country.

“In addition, the drugs which affect the health and the wellbeing of Nigerians have equally been reduced,” he said.

Mohammed said the exercise had provided a platform for the various participating agencies to jointly operate together thereby strengthening inter-agency collaboration and reducing animosity.

He recalled that the government took the measure in August to address the numerous trans-borders economic and security challenges confronting the nation.

“These challenges range from banditry, kidnapping, smuggling, illegal migrants and proliferation of light weapons among others.

“Meanwhile, the preference for foreign goods, especially food items like rice has continuously impoverished our farmers and adversely affected domestic government policies supporting the agricultural sector to enhance food security,” he said.

The minister blamed the neighboring countries for circumventing the ECOWAS protocol on transit.

“For clarity, the ECOWAS protocol on transit demands that when a transit container berths at a seaport, the receiving country is mandated to escort same without tampering with the seal to the border of the destination country.

“Unfortunately, experience has shown that our neighbours do not comply with this protocol. Rather, they break the seals of containers at their ports and trans-load goods destined for Nigeria,” he said.

The minister assured that the government through diplomatic channels would continue to engage its neighbours to agree to comply with the ECOWAS Protocol on Transit.

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Abass Sulaiman Adegoke, well known as Adegoke is a student of Federal Polytechnic Ede studying Civil Engineering, He is a media enthusiast, loves traveling, and has a special interest in personal development.

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Herdsmen shoot Gov. Ortom in Benue

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The Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, has narrated how he narrowly escaped death after suspected herdsmen shot at him in his farm.

Ortom said he was shot while in his farm located along Makurdi – Naka road in Makurdi, Benue state capital.

The Governor, who spoke to journalists in Makurdi on Monday, reiterated his call for arrest and prosecution of the leadership of Meyitta Allah for allegedly instigating violence against farmers in the state.

The Gov. said, “I went to my farm last week and the herdsmen, who were coming back to Benue state in their numbers shot at me.”

Ortom further explained that it took the intervention of men of Operation Whirl Stroke who responded timely and rescued him before the herdsmen ran away.

The Governor expressed concern that herdsmen were allowed to carry sophisticated weapons more than security agencies.

He said that herdsmen were not coming for grazing, stressing “anti-open grazing prohibition law is still in force and anyone who wants to do business of animal husbandry must embrace ranching”.

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Buhari orders airstrikes on bandits, kidnappers

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Buhari orders airstrikes on bandits, kidnappers ff96935b muhammadu buhari on arise 7 696x522

President Muhammadu Buhari has received assurances that with the harmattan dust gradually easing its hold on the skies, fighter aircrafts would this week join the efforts to provide effective air attacks against bandits, kidnappers and cattle rustlers that have been attacking remote communities around Dogon Gona forest in Niger State.

In a statement sent to DAILY POST on Sunday by Garba Shehu, the President, described the repeated attacks leading to the loss of several lives in the communities “as a disaster for the nation,”

He had authorized the deployment of air power to support troops and policemen sent to the “difficult terrain,” to counter the menace of the attackers operating in the forest area bordering Kaduna, Niger and Zamfara states.

The statement added that in line with this directive, the Nigerian Air Force is setting up refueling facilities at Minna, Niger State to support the aircraft operations, giving assurances that given the improved weather conditions, a major exercise to “visually acquire targets” and launch attacks will soon follow.

The Police Command in Niger has equally given assurances that the planned dedicated air raids to complement the police helicopter gunship operations remain the best approach given the lack of motorized roads in the areas constantly under attack.

President Buhari also commiserated with the government and people of Niger State following the attacks and the loss of lives that followed, and assured that victim communities in the state will not be abandoned by the rest of the country.

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