Over 2,000 weapons have been seized by customs this year alone.
Most recently there have been batches of illegal weapons coming through. 2017 has seen operatives of the Nigeria Customs Service (NSC) seizing over 2,000 weapons from the first month of the year to September 2017.
This contraband is enough to be a reason for concern with the current level of insecurity in Nigeria - Boko Haram attacks, clashes in the East between supporters of Biafra and the Nigerian army. Ironically, with 2019 election fast approaching, this could also be a reason for the high numbers of weapons being imported.
Here are all the times illicit weapons were seized this year.
In January, customs seized 661 pieces of pump-action rifles which came from China at the Lagos port. These guns were hidden with steel doors and other goods. The AK47 rifles were concealed in 49 boxes.
The Comptroller-General of Customs, Hameed Ali, told journalists on January 30, 2017 the Federal Operations Unit intercepted the consignment which had left the port along Mile 2 Apapa Road, Lagos.
Three suspects were arrested in connection with this.
The Tin Can Island Command of the NSC intercepted a container with 440 arms and ammunition including pump action rifles and single-barrelled devices. The cargo coming from Turkey was declared as plaster of paris (POP).
This container was found in a a 40-foot container at the Ports and Cargo Terminal of the Tin Can Island Ports.
This has been the largest consignment of weapons seized this year. The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) seized 1,100 firearms that were being smuggled in from Turkey at the Tin-Can Island Port, Lagos.
The arms were hidden in a 20-foot container. The Comptroller-General of NSC shared on September 11, 2017 that two people including a customs official and a terminal clerk had been arrested.
Ali told newsmen the cargo was declared as water closets and wash-hand-basins.
“Upon thorough examination, the container was discovered to contain 600 pieces of Jojef Magnum Black Pump action, 300 pieces of Jojef Magnum Silver Pump action and 209 pieces of Jojef Magnum Plastic Single Barrels Hunting Gun Pump Action Rifles," he said.
With all three cases, investigations are being carried out.