Ultimate magazine theme for WordPress.

Customs Boss explains why Nigeria’s borders remain closed

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

Ali stated this on Wednesday at Maigatari/Niger border,
Maigatari Local Government Area of Jigawa State while fielding questions from
“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
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
“For instance, Niger has no reason to allow rice,
cooking oil and other illicit goods to pass through its borders to come to
“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
“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.
Ali was with the Comptroller General of the Nigeria
Immigration Service (NIS), Mr Mohammed Babandede, and Brig. Gen. Emmanuel Aliyu
Ndagi, Head of the operation. (NAN)

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.