Friday, the Federal Government ordered the immediate closure of all land borders with the Republic of Niger due to the latter’s current political instability.
According to Bashir Adeniyi Adewale, the acting comptroller-general of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCoS), the policy is in the best interests of both countries.
Adewale, who was at Jibia Border, Katsina State, to monitor compliance, explained that the Federal Government has instructed border management stakeholders to ensure complete compliance.
"It is common knowledge that President Ahmed Bola Tinubu is a proponent of economic integration in West Africa. He believes so strongly that trade with our neighbor can bring prosperity to Nigerians and other sub-regional residents that he stated as much.
This was demonstrated by his words and actions. This may have contributed to his appointment as the head of ECOWAS less than a month after he became president of Nigeria.
"We currently face a circumstance characterized by instability and insecurity. This circumstance does not permit commerce to flourish. In the current climate of insecurity and instability in the Niger Republic, it is impossible to conduct meaningful business.
“For this reason, the ECOWAS, acting under the authority of the Heads of State, decided to suspend and close all land borders with the Republic of Niger.”
According to him, the Service has deployed officers and men from the joint operations team as part of the border exercise in order to implement the policy at all porous borders.
"It is the duty of the Nigeria Customs Service, in collaboration with other government agencies, to implement the decision in its totality. “I’ve visited several border stations, and I’m pleased with what I’ve seen in terms of compliance,” the Customs chief said.
“The Nigeria Customs Service and other security agencies are conducting joint operations at the border exercise, and they have been deployed to the border areas to carry out the border closure order. The compliance rate must be 100 percent, which implies that no shipments into or out of Nigeria will be permitted during the period of border closure.”