Anti-smuggling: Customs Tight Security At  Illela & Other Border Areas In Sokoto And Zamfara States Yield Results

By Stephen Ubanna

 Comptroller Musa Omale, Area Controller, Sokoto/Zamfara Command, appears to have sent a message to the unrepentant smugglers operating between Nigeria and Niger   it is no longer going business as usual

 Acting on the instruction of Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, Comptroller General, Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, Compt. Omale, through’’ additional layer of enforcement operations and intelligence gathering’’     at Illela, Headquaters of Illela, Local government Area in Sokoto, home state of late President Shehu Shagari, and other border Communities in Zamfara state were said to have refused to be intimated by he Bandits turned smugglers.  

 Compt. Omale, who had tightened up security in the Command’s area of Jurisdictions   to ensure that no contraband enters into the country through any of the unapproved routes in the two north western states states. President Bola Ahmed Tinubu may have emboldened the NCS and other security agencies personnel to tighten up security with the border closure with Niger Republic in the northern part of the country on July 30, 2023. The Ngerian President may have directive to the NCS to further tightened up security at the northern   Land border areas   as a result of the military takeover in the West African country which the Leadership of the Economic Community of West African states did not find funny.

Adeniyi, the Customs Comptroller General, was said to have put a close tab on the northen Land border areas with Niger as he had was said to have paid a working visit  Magamar-Jibia, a border Community between  Nigeria and Niger , in Katsina, home state of former President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Customs Comptroller General, was also said to be on ground in Illela border Community in Sokoto state, where he had asked the residents of the  border  communities around the border town  ‘’to support the NCS  and  other security agencies  personnel   ‘’ to enforce  the Presidential directive s  on the closure of the borders  with  Niger  aimed at  restoration  of democracy and Constitutional order in Niger.

 Compt.Omale had alluded to  the Customs Comptroller General visist to IIIela , border Community  when he disclosed that the  working visit was  ostensibly    ‘’to ensure full scale implementation  of the government border closure  order  with Niger Republic’’.

Trailer load Of Contraband Intercepted By Sokoto /Zamf.Command

 The Contraband seizures that was said to have  been made by the Sokokoto/ Zamfara, between July 30, 2023  and Tuesday, October  31, speaks volume.. The Command, according to  Compt. Omale,  had intercepted a trailer load of  various Contraband items   including  1,800 cartons   of foreign banana  from Ghana,  bound for  the neighbouring West African country  with a Duty paid Value of N17,576,392.00.The Customs Compt. Had faulted  the trading of foreign banana  on the rounds of the closure  of the land border with Niger Republic. 

An insider who spoke to The Value News on condition of anonymity disclosed that both not for the  eagle eyes of the officer stationed at  strategic locations by Comptroller Omale, around the IIIlela, land border area border  area, the foreign banana, would have found its way into the Nigerian market.

Contraband items Seized By SoKOTO/ Zamf. Command

Compt. Omale, may have taken advantage of the seizure of the 1,800 cartons of the  foreign banana, bound for the Niger Republic  market  through  Nigeria ground to warn the trading public  to be careful in  testing  the  will of the Commend enforcement officers on the road as the Patrol Team officers will not hesistate to impound their  goods and turn to government owned consignment.

.  He was said to have made it clear to the transborder traders   that the border closure with Niger Republic  is still in force’’, urging the traders  ‘’to exercise patience    until such a time that the crisis between the Leadership  of  ECOWAS , and the Niger military junta  would be resolved.

  Recall that the Customs Comptroller General , had told   residents of Illela, and the other border Communities  visited in Katsina  and Kebbi  ‘’ to monitor the compliance of the government border closure directive that Nigeria  want to benefit  from international Trade  and will continue  to promote  trade  between all member states of the ECOWAS. 

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