The Niger Area Command of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) on Monday appealed to border communities in the area for cooperation in checking smuggling.
Mr Bengal Benjamin, the Area Comptroller, made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Minna.
According to Benjamin, the command believes that the support of the border communities was necessary to achieve more success in ending smuggling across the borders.
He appealed to residents of members in the communities to offer intelligence reports on the movement of smugglers to help save Nigerian economy.
He said that the time had come for all Nigerians to see smuggling as a crime to the nation’s economy.
NAN reports that the command is made of Niger, Kwara and Kogi states.
Benjamin said that the command had also partnered some traditional rulers, especially those around border communities, to alert the command on the movement of smugglers.
He urged the mass media to educate members of the public to shun smuggling and embrace export of local goods because of the inherent gains in export trade than smuggling.
He said that officers and men in the command had been mobilised to ensure that the command would meet its N3.7 billion revenue target for 2018.
“We have since issued effective operational order to our officers in the border areas on how to prevent the illegal business and deal with smugglers.
“We have blocked all their identified exits through our border posts in Kwara as well as in other states,” he said.