Nigeria arrested 1,375 migrants during border closure — Lai Mohammed

Lai Mohammed
Lai Mohammed


The Federal Government said on Monday that no fewer than 1,375 irregular migrants were arrested while the border drill named “Exercise Swift Response” lasted.

The border drill was held between August 20, 2019, and December 17, 2020.

Speaking at a new year media briefing in Lagos on Monday, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said the border drill was a huge success.

The minister said the seizures so far during the period included 157,511 units of 50kg bags of parboiled foreign rice, 10,447 bags of NPK fertiliser used for making explosives and 18,630 jerry cans of vegetable oil.

The total monetary value of the seized items, according to him, is about ₦12.362 billion.

“Exercise Swift Response” was launched as part of efforts to secure the land and maritime borders in the South-South, South-West, North-Central and North-West Zones from smuggling and irregular migration.

The exercise, coordinated by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), was meant to boost the national economy and strengthen border security.

Officials of the Nigeria Customs Service, the Nigerian Immigration Service, the armed forces of Nigeria as well as the Nigeria Police Force and other security and intelligence agencies were involved in the exercise.

Following a directive by President Muhammadu Buhari on December 16, 2020, four land borders were reopened, including those in Seme, Illela, Maigatari and Mfun.