FG Re-Opens All Land Borders

FG Re-Opens All Land Borders
Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd.)
The federal government has approved the re-opening of Idiroko, Jibiya, Kamba and Ikom borders after two years of the land border closure which has crippled several legitimate businesses despite the germane reasons to curb influx of smuggling.
On October, 15, 2019, the federal government announced the shutting of all land borders to imports in a bid to curtail smuggling of foreign parboiled rice, frozen poultry and imported used cars, also known as Tokunbo.
“All goods for now are banned from being exported or imported through our land borders and that is to ensure we have total control over what comes in,” Hameed Ali, Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Customs Service said.
In December 2020, the Federal Executive Council (FEC), announced the immediate re-opening of four out of the eight major land borders; Seme, Illela, Maigatari and Mfun leaving out Idiroko, Jibiya, Kamba and Ikom.
However, in a new circular signed by Deputy Comptroller General, Enforcement and Inspection, DCG, E.I Edorhe, titled, ‘re-opening of four additional Nigerian border Posts’, the service, directed the immediate re-opening of the other four land borders.
According to him, all Customs formations and Joint Border Patrol Teams (JBPTs), should ensure proper manning in compliance with extant operational guidelines.
The circular reads, “Sequel to the presidential directive dated 16 December, 2020 granting approval for phased reopening of land borders namely, Mfum, Seme, Illela and Maigatari borders across the country, i am directed to inform you that four additonal borders stated below have been approved for re-opening.”
“The borders are, Idiroko border post, Ogun State (South-West Zone); Jibiya border post, Katsina State (North-West Zone; Kamba border post, Kebbi State (North-West Zone) and ikom border post, Cross River State (South-South Zone).”
“Consequently, all Customs formations and JBPTs are to take note and ensure that proper manning takes place in compliance with extant operational guidelines.”
With this development, the expectations is that legitimate businesses hampered by the ban would commence their import and export businesses while freight agents at the affected areas recommence operations after an extremely long holiday.
Experts also posit that hostility of border communities and consequent clashes with Customs will dwindle as legitimate trade begins at the border regions.

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