The Federal Government has ordered the immediate closure of all land borders with the Niger Republic in a move to sustain democracy in the sub region, following a military coup in that country.
The policy, according to the Acting Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCoS), Bashir Adeniyi Adewale, is in the best interest of both countries.
Adewale, who was at Jibia Border, Katsina State, to monitor the level of compliance, explained that the Federal Government has directed stakeholders in the border management to ensure total compliance.
“As we all know, President Ahmed Bola Tinubu is a champion of economic integration in West Africa. He believes so much that trade with our neighbour can bring prosperity to Nigerians and other people within the sub-region,” he said.
“He had demonstrated this in words and deeds. This might have contributed to his emergence as Head of ECOWAS within a month of his emergence as president of Nigeria.
“Now, we have a situation in our hands where there is instability and insecurity. This situation does not allow for trade to flourish. We cannot have any meaningful trade in an atmosphere of insecurity and instability that we presently have in Niger Republic.
“That is why the ECOWAS, through the authority of the Heads of States, had taken the decision to suspend and close all land borders with the Republic of Niger.”
Adewale further said that the Customs Service has deployed officers and men attached to the joint operations team in the form of the border drill to implement the policy across all porous borders.
“It is the responsibility of the Nigeria Customs Service, working with other agencies of government, to implement the decision in its entirety. I have gone round some border stations and I am happy with what I have seen in terms of compliance,” he said.
“The Nigeria Customs Service has joint operations with other security agencies at the border drill and they have been deployed to the border areas to carry out the implementation of the border closure order. The compliance has to be 100 per cent which means that all in-bound and out-bound cargoes in and out of Nigeria will not be allowed during the period of border closure.”