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Nigeria Customs issues conditions for reopening land borders for consumer products

*Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, Acting Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service, lists certain conditions for reopening the country’s land borders, disclosing the Service will review some of its policies, if the compliance level of the border communities is considerable

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Against the backdrop of the need for compliance with extant laws regarding imports and exports, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, Acting Comptroller General (CG) of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), has listed certain conditions for the reopening of land borders across the West African country.

ConsumerConnect learnt Adeniyi noted this while addressing NCS Officers when he visited the Ogun 1 Command of the Service at Idiroko, in Ogun State.

The Acting Comptroller General of NCS disclosed the Service would review some of its policies, if the compliance level of the border communities is high.

Adeniyi stated one of the policies is the review of the policy on supply of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), otherwise known as petrol, to filling stations that are 20 kilometres to the Nigerian borders.

He also said: “There are a number of issues that our border communities have put across to us, and some of them go beyond the mandate of the Customs Service because some of them are policies done by authorities that are higher than us.

“However, I can assure you that we are working alongside other appropriate authorities of government, and we will be requesting the review of such policies if we see situation that warrant such review at the borders.”

The Acting Comptroller General of NCS noted: “If there is compliance with extant law regarding import and export around us, and if we see the support of the communities working with government agencies to enforce those laws.”

“If we see our communities supporting government agencies of course, we will make appropriate recommendation for the review of border closure, importation of ‘Tokunbo’ vehicles through the borders.

“And most importantly because of the removal of subsidy, we may also call for the review of restriction of petrol filling stations in and around our borders.”

The NCS Chief urged the  the Officers at the Ogun 1 Command to be focused and rededicate themselves to ensuring national and regional security.

Adeniyi further said: “One of the reasons why I’m here this morning is to reiterate the need for all our agencies to remain focused and committed towards the ideal of national and regional security.

“Idiroko is a very strategic gateway into Nigeria and of course, into the Benin Republic and by extension, the sub region.

“So, we cannot afford to allow criminals who thrive in perpetrating crimes across our borders, do things that are inimical to our national security.”

He also explained, “this is why I’m here this morning to remind ourselves of our collective mandate, collective mandates to keep away criminals operating around our borders, whether they come in the manner of smuggling, human trafficking, drug trafficking or things that will affect our public health.

“We have a collective responsibility to confront them, and beat them to their game.

“For us in Customs, we believe that no one agency can do this alone, we need to work together, we need to collaborate together.

“The dynamics of crime has changed over the years and there is no single criminal that comes to our border and perpetrates only its crime.

“Smugglers don’t commit only smuggling, so what it means is that they engage in illegal smuggling of arms and ammunition. Most human traffickers, most of the time, also take currencies away from the country.”

Adeniyi affirmed that “they are also guilty of money laundering, and illegal currencies trafficking across the border.”

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