Home Maritime Not all land borders have been reopened — Customs CG

Not all land borders have been reopened — Customs CG

Adeniyi - lagospost.ng

The Acting Comptroller-General of Customs, Adewale Adeniyi, has said that not all borders in the country have been reopened.

He made the clarification on Tuesday while speaking to State House correspondents after a meeting with President Bola Tinubu at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Former President Muhammadu Buhari had, in August 2019, shut all land borders in the country as part of efforts to curtail smuggling and boost local production of rice. On December 6, 2020, Buhari ordered that four of the land borders be reopened.

Addressing the recent confusion generated by rumoured reopening of all the land borders by the present government, Adeniyi said, “Well, it is not true that all Nigerian borders have been opened. The status quo ante still exists in the borders. If you remember that the borders were completely shut down in 2018 up until 2022 when some selected strategic borders were reopened; that is still the situation as we speak.

“And this was why we had an ad hoc arrangement of a special unit coordinated by the office of the NSA (National Security Adviser) to enforce that border closure. But as we speak, about five of them have been reopened.

“Four were initially reopened and two more were opened after that. And that is still the situation. There are ongoing processes to review this situation against the objective of the border closure itself.

“And the processes are not yet completed. And of course, when the borders are reopened, it is not going to be subject of rumour in any way.”

The customs boss said he plans to visit the Republic of Benin to engage with the country’s customs administration as part of efforts to enhance border security and regional integration.

“The aim of the visit is to foster collaboration, address border security concerns, facilitate importation across the border, and explore technological solutions to complex border challenges,” he said.

Adeniyi also reiterated his earlier position that the smuggling of petroleum products from Nigeria to neighbouring countries is still ongoing despite the removal of petrol subsidy by the Bola Tinubu administration.

“Well, sometimes we just want to assume that because of the subsidy, the problem will evaporate one day. So the sense I was trying to create was that it might take some time before the issue of smuggling of fuel across the border will completely dissipate.

“So in some border areas, we had reports of seizures of fuel and that is what we heard. So it was the assumption generally, that because the fuel is now sold at N500 per litre it will be a disincentive for smuggling. But contrary to that, we have seen that they are smuggling it across the borders.

“The rate at which this is being smuggled has reduced considerably. And it is our hope that by the time we mix some of these other policies that government is working on, it will completely eliminate the problems of smuggling of fuel across borders,” Adeniyi added.



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