By Dipo Olowookere In order to boost the morale of its junior cadre, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has announced the promotion of 2,974 of its personnel to various ranks. A statement issued by the Public Relations Officer of the security outfit, Mr Joseph Attah, said the elevation was approved by the Comptroller-General of Customs, Mr Hameed Ibrahim Ali. According to him, \u201cThe promotion was strictly based on merit, as the cumulative marks of annual performance evaluation scores, written examination, seniority and availability of vacancies formed the basis for the promotion, which has January 1, 2019 as its effective date.\u201d Mr Attah said a breakdown of the promotion showed that 897 Assistant Inspectors of Customs were promoted to the rank of Inspector of Customs; 1,426 Customs Assistant 1 were elevated to Assistant Inspector of Customs; 123 Customs Assistant 11 were promoted to Customs Assistant 1; while 5 Customs Assistant 111 were promoted to Customs Assistant 11. He further said in the Support Staff Cadre, 21 Assistant Inspectors of Customs were promoted to the rank of Inspector of Customs; 208 Customs Assistant 1 were lifted to Assistant Inspector of Customs; 263 Customs Assistant 11 elevated to Customs Assistant 1; while 31 Customs Assistant 111 were promoted to Customs Assistant 11. \u201cWhile giving his approval for the release of the promotion, the CGC congratulated all promoted personnel and expressed the hope that these elevations will serve as motivation to effectively discharge their duties,\u201d the statement said. Officials of the agency have helped to keep the nation's borders safe, especially at a time movement of goods in and out of the country's land borders has been restricted to help stop smuggling of arms and ammunition, rice and others into Nigeria. The closure of the land borders started in August 2019 and Nigeria has said the borders will only be reopened if its neighbours, like Chad, Benin Republic, Niger Republic and others agree to support government's efforts to tackle smuggling.