The Federal Government on Friday took decisive action in response to the ongoing political instability in Niger Republic by issuing a prompt order for the immediate closure of all land borders with the neighboring country.
The Acting Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCoS), Bashir Adeniyi Adewale, stated that this policy decision was made with the best interests of both nations in mind. To oversee the implementation of this directive, Adewale visited the Jibia Border in Katsina State to assess the level of compliance.
The Federal Government has communicated to all stakeholders involved in border management the need for strict adherence to the closure, emphasizing the importance of ensuring complete compliance with the order.
“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.”
According to him, the 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,” the Customs boss added.
“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.”