- Nigeria's border will remain closed until neigbouring countries do the necessary things, Customs boss Hameed Ali has said
- According to Ali, who said there is no specific time for opening the borders, Nigeria has been able to completely block the importation of contraband
- The Customs boss added that Nigeria’s neighbours had no reason to allow cars and other contraband items to pass through their borders into the country
Retired Col. Hameed Ali, the comptroller general, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), says Nigeria’s borders will remain closed until the country and its neighbours agree on existing ECOWAS protocol on movement.
Ali stated this on Wednesday, September 11, at Maigatari/Niger border, Maigatari local government area of Jigawa while fielding questions from newsmen.
“But there is no specific time for opening the borders. However, if they agree with us tomorrow on the existing laws, then we sign and update the existing protocol of transit, that’s all," Ali said.
When asked about the consequences of closing the borders, he said “if you check our website, you will see the seizures and interception we’ve made”.
He said that by closing the borders, Nigeria was able to completely block the importation of contraband. According to him, through the measure, the importation of foreign rice has stopped and the market for local varieties has risen.
“We’ve also stopped the influx of rice and our rice is now selling. Even those selling garri that have been abandoned because there was cheap rice are making brisk business," he said.
When asked about petty traders who are unable to bring goods to the neighbouring countries, Ali said “There must be collateral damage in this kind of situation. Somebody must miss one or two things.”
He said the number of petty traders affected was insignificant compared to gains recorded through the operation.
Ali said Nigeria’s neighbours had no reason allowing cars, cooking oil and other contraband items to pass through their borders into Nigeria.
He warned that any officer caught conniving to pave way for the importation of contraband items into the country would have himself to blame.
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Recall that Legit.ng had reported that the Customs revealed that 100 illegal immigrants were arrested in parts of Nigeria during a joint border patrol by the security agencies.
The Customs disclosed this in a statement signed by DC, Joseph Attah, public relations officer of the agency.
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