Turkey moves to end arms smuggling into Nigeria

The Turkish authorities have expressed their readiness to enter into an agreement with  the Federal Government to stop further illegal importation of arms into Nigeria.

A Turkish firm is also said to have expressed interest in bidding for the concession of the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, disclosed these in an article he released on Sunday at the end of President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to Turkey during which he participated in the ninth Summit of the Developing 8 (D-8).

In the piece titled “Key Takeaways From President Muhammadu Buhari’s Four-Day Engagement in Turkey,” Shehu listed sectors that benefited from the President’s trip to include security and partnerships on transnational crimes; industry, trade, investment and transportation; civil aviation; education and health matters; and defence.

The presidential spokesman said although Turkish authorities debunked the issue of smuggling of illicit arms allegedly from Turkey, they nonetheless agreed to enter into agreement with Nigeria that their ports, harbors, airports and territories will never again be used as transit points for such trafficking originating from other lands.

“On the specific issue of arms smuggling, our team which included the Minister of Interior, Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau(retd.) and the Comptroller-General of the Customs, Col. Hameed Ali, reached conclusions with the Turkish authorities on how to avert future occurrence and to that effect, a negotiated agreement is to be signed by both sides after vetting by the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice as a requirement of our own administration,” he disclosed.

He said the two governments agreed to support each other in the fight against terrorism, human trafficking, drugs trafficking and arms trafficking.

He said Turkey specifically mentioned the menace of the Fethullah organisation which they accused of terrorism and involvement in the abortive coup plot last year.



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