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Nigerian borders will remain shut

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Hameed Ali: the borders will remain shut

Retired Col. Hameed Ali, the Comptroller General, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), said Nigeria’s borders will remain closed until the country and its neighbours agree on existing ECOWAS protocol on movement.

Ali said this on Wednesday 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. And we are looking forward to meeting with them and there are moves to sit with them to make them understand why we are doing what we are doing and what we want to achieve by doing what we are doing,” 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.

“We are able to completely block the influxes of illicit goods, and most importantly, stopped the exportation of petroleum product which is the biggest problem we have,” Ali said.

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. This is because people are now buying garri as food. So, I think the economy is now picking up and we are grateful for that,” 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 added Nigeria’s neighbours had no reason allowing cars, cooking oil and other contraband items to pass through their borders into Nigeria.

“For instance, Niger has no reason to allow rice, cooking oil and other illicit goods to pass through its borders to come to Nigeria. So, if it is their national interest to collect revenue it is our national interest to close our borders until we sit down and discuss,” Ali said.

He warned that any officer caught conniving to pave way for the importation of contraband items into the country would have himself to blame.

“Some of these things happened in connivance with some of our men. We are trying our best to see that we produce what we consume, particularly rice. But the police are being bastardised in connivance with some of my officers. We’re aware of that. So, if we catch you,  you know where to go, no compromise and you will have yourself to blame.

The customs boss who was at the border to inspect the on-going Operation Border Drill, said: “This is the first time the entire military and paramilitary come together to ensure security and wellbeing of Nigerians, as well as stop human trafficking.”

With Ali yesterday were Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Mr Mohammed Babandede, and Brig. Gen. Emmanuel Aliyu Ndagi, Head of the border drill operation.

 

179 COMMENTS

  1. But would closing the border really solve this, or ain’t there other stronger measure that can be put in place to curb all this illicit entries? Closing the border affects the lower class masses.

  2. Hmmmm to me is good the way u are doing it… but it’s really affecting us down here in Bakassi…

    U know we share boundary between Cameron nd we Nigerian..
    And as whole saller without those pple cuming to buy from us.. we don’t make sales..

    hmmm is only God that will help us..

  3. When hungry finish us then you will know the real implications. All these are nonsense because the price of rice has just increase by 40% in the market. Are they helping or punishing us

  4. They should open it o cuz this is affecting d price of goods in Nigeria
    Tnks for d information Gistsala may God bless you with all ur good works

  5. Hmmmm…this people are less concerned with the hardship of inflation being experienced by common men because of the border closure

  6. okay nice one at list you will create jobs in the country and food before thinking of closing up the border, what is your 7years food storage plan pls take a lead from Joseph in the bible. it is real not poem

  7. Comment: what is this idiot talking about? if Nigeria borders are shut, then explain to us how weapons are getting infiltrated into the country? explain how illegal herdsmen are infiltrating into our country, kidnapping and killing our people?? the only border I know you are talking about is seme border. tell your men to go and secure our northern borders because that is where our problems come from

  8. Nigeria’s borders are numerous and porous…they don’t even have enough man power to protect them, so which borders are they talking about

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