- The Nigerian Customs Service said all land borders remain completely closed
- Hameed Ali emphasized that this means all goods should go through the sea and air ports
- The customs boss said security of lives and properties of Nigerians takes priority
The Nigerian Customs Service has announced the complete border closure across the nation, which also means a total ban on all import and export goods through the land border.
The Nation reports that the comptroller-general of customs, Hameed Ali, said this on Monday, October 14. He stated that the ban will remain in place until agreement is reached with neighbouring countries on the kind of goods allowed into the nation.
He said the measure is for security purpose so as to scan all goods that enter and exit the nation.
Ali said only the legitimate sea and air ports are allowed as goods can undergo thorough scanning.
He said: “We hope that by the time we get to the end of this exercise, we would have exactly between we and our neighbours agree on the type of goods that should enter and exit our country.
“For now, all goods, whether illicit or non-illicit, are banned from going and coming into Nigeria.
“Let me add that for the avoidance of doubt that we included all goods because all goods can equally come through our seaports.
“For that reason, we have deemed it necessary for now that importers of such goods should go through our controlled boarders where we have scanners to verify the kind of goods and how healthy to our people can be conducted.”
Ali insisted that although the Economic Community of West African States protocol enables free movement of people, security takes priority.
He said: “We want to protect our nation, we want make sure that our people are protected. You must be alive and well for you to begin to ask for your rights. Your rights come when you are well and alive.
“Go and ask the people in Maiduguri when Boko Haram was harassing their lives, the only question was survival, there is no question of right. This time Nigeria must survive first then before we begin to ask for our rights.”
Meanwhile, Nigerians are now feeling the pains arising from the border closure as the prices of staple foods such as rice, frozen foods and others continue to witness an increase of up to 65 per cent.
Some of the prices of the food items that come from the land borders, especially the Republic of Benin, have increased astronomically.
Legit.ng gathers that Nigerians are feeling the pangs of the border closure as the price of a bag of rice that was sold around N12,000 before now sells around N20,000 to N22,000.
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