Federal Government Boosts Border Surveillance Amidst Labour's Two-Day Protest Announcement

Federal Government Boosts Border Surveillance Amidst Labour’s Two-Day Protest Announcement

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To combat the smuggling and hoarding of food items, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Department of State Services (DSS), and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have launched a nationwide crackdown, intensifying border surveillance.

This initiative comes in response to Organised Labour’s declaration of a two-day protest against the prevailing economic challenges in the country.

According to reports, the task force established by President Bola Tinubu to address food hoarding has ramped up surveillance at Nigeria’s land borders in Borno, Niger, Katsina, Sokoto, Kebbi, and Jigawa states, identifying them as critical areas of concern.

This development follows an emergency meeting held on Thursday between President Tinubu, Vice-President Kashim Shettima, and state governors at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja.

President Tinubu, addressing widespread food hoarding in Kano State, directed the National Security Adviser, the Inspector-General of Police, and the Director-General of the Department of State Services to coordinate closely and ensure security agencies inspect warehouses suspected of hoarding with follow-up action.

Furthermore, President Tinubu ruled out importing food as part of strategies to alleviate the high costs of foodstuffs and economic hardships affecting the nation.

With 80% of Nigeria’s grain cultivated in the North-West and North-East regions, ongoing violence has severely disrupted supplies. Additionally, statistics from the National Bureau of Statistics reveal that at least 63% of the country’s 220 million population live in extreme poverty.

Sources within the Presidency familiar with the government’s efforts to combat food hoarding disclosed that cartels are resorting to sophisticated smuggling techniques, including round-tripping, to smuggle goods across borders, leading to price hikes.

The security agencies have reportedly uncovered substantial amounts of stored food products hidden by major companies under the guise of manufacturing feed and other items.

Confirming the operations, Abdullahi Maiwada, the Public Relations Officer of the Nigeria Customs Service, emphasized that the service had “re-strategized” and reinforced alert mechanisms across the borders. He emphasized the use of intelligence-driven operations and engagement with the populace to discourage smuggling.

The Federal Government’s heightened vigilance at the borders aims to curb smuggling activities and ensure food security amidst the prevailing economic challenges. Further strategies are expected to be unveiled in the coming days to address these issues comprehensively.

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