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Nigeria Customs ban exports, imports via land borders indefinitely


The Nigeria Customs Service on Monday announced an indefinite ban on importation and exportation of goods through the land borders.

Comptroller-General, NCS, Col. Hameed Ali (retd), who stated this at a press conference in Abuja, also said Niger Republic had placed a ban on export of rice to Nigeria as a result of Nigeria’s border closure.

This came as the Nigeria Immigration Service said it had stopped 1,111 foreigners from entering Nigeria since August 20, 2019 when the country’s land borders were partially closed.

The closure of borders is being enforced by the NCS and NIS, in collaboration with the Nigerian armed forces and the Nigeria Police Force. It is being coordinated by the Office of the National Security Adviser.

Ali said the aim of the exercise was to better secure Nigeria’s borders, address trans-border security concerns and strengthen the economy.

The customs boss said it was disturbing that some neighbouring countries were circumventing the ECOWAS protocol on transit.

Ali said the closure of the borders had curbed the smuggling of foreign rice into Nigeria and addressed the diversion of petroleum products from Nigeria to neighbouring countries.

According to him, 10.2 million litres of petrol had been stopped from being diverted out of the country since the borders were closed, while producers of local food were making increased earnings.
On security, the customs boss stated that so far, 317 suspected smugglers and 146 illegal migrants had been arrested.

He explained that 95 per cent of illicit drugs and weapons used for acts of terrorism and kidnapping in Nigeria came through the porous borders.

He said following the closure of Nigeria’s borders, “Niger Republic has already circulated an order banning exportation of rice in any form to Nigeria.”

According to him, no date has been fixed to reopen the borders, adding that Nigeria will only end closure when its neighbours have fully complied with the Economic Community of West African States Protocol on Transit.(Punch)

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