The acting Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, has listed conditions for the reopening of land borders across the country.
Speaking to officers of the service when he visited the Ogun 1 command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Idiroko, Ogun State, the acting CGC, disclosed that the service would review some of its policies if the compliance level of the border communities is high.
One of the policies according to the Customs boss is the review of the policy on supply of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), to filling stations that are 20 kilometres to the nation’s borders.
“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.”
“If there is compliance to 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.”
He continued, “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.”
Moreover, he charged the officers at the command to be focused and rededicate themselves to ensuring national and regional security.
“So, 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.
“So 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. They are also guilty of money laundering, and illegal currencies trafficking across the border,” he stated.