FG toughens border surveillance, NLC declares two-day protest

The Nigeria Customs Service, Nigeria Immigration Service, Department of State Services and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission have begun a clampdown on smugglers and hoarders of food items nationwide by escalating border surveillance.

This is coming after the Organised Labour declared a two-day protest against the current economic hardship in the country.

Sources in the Presidency and the NCS told our correspondent that the task force established by President Bola Tinubu to tackle food hoarding had heightened alert levels at Nigeria’s land borders across Borno, Niger, Katsina, Sokoto, Kebbi and Jigawa states, describing them as “dark spots.”

The development comes hours after an emergency meeting between the President, Vice-President Kashim Shettima, and state governors at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja, on Thursday.

At the meeting, Tinubu who cited large-scale hoarding of food 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 that security agencies in the states inspect such warehouses with follow up action.”

The President also ruled out importing food as part of strategies to address the high costs of foodstuffs and the economic hardship troubling the country.

Although 80 per cent of Nigeria’s grain is produced in the North-West and North-East, violence in the regions has largely compromised supplies, even as at least 63 per cent of the country’s 220 million people live in extreme poverty, according to the National Bureau Statistics.

A Presidency source, who is privy to ongoing operations of the government to crack down on food items’ hoarders, told one of our correspondents that cartels were now using the round-tripping system to smuggle goods across the borders, leading to price increases.



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