The National Security Adviser (NSA), Major General Babagana Monguno (rtd), has said that the federal government has decided to extend the partial closure of the country’s borders beyond the 28 days earlier slated.
According to Channels Television, Monguno disclosed that the partial closure of the borders between Nigeria and Benin Republic has yielded results, including the arrest of about 100 illegal migrants, adding that illegal arms and hundreds of bags of imported rice have been impounded.
He said that the major reason the federal government decided to partially close the borders has to do with insecurity, adding that it is the responsibility of the government to protect its citizenry and secure its international borders.
Earlier the Comptroller General of Customs, Hammed Ali had said that Nigeria borders would remain closed until the neighbouring countries respect Nigeria’s policy on food ban and other contraband importation.
Ali while addressing Customs personnel and community leaders at the border town, Maigatari, which connects Nigeria and Niger Republic, lamented that criminals were coming in through Nigeria’s porous borders to perpetrate crimes freely.
“Most of the criminals are not committed by the citizens of Nigeria. They come in at will and go out at will because our borders are so porous. They come and create havoc and they disappear.
“This is why the President directed that we should go on and embark on this drill to ensure that we put into place a proper procedure for in and outflow of people.
“We must also get our neighbours to agree with us on the protocols of transit routes,” Ali said.
According to him, Nigeria has enough food and is willing to go to all extent to ensure its borders are no longer porous.
Speaking in the same vein, the Comptroller General of Immigration Service, Muhammad Babandede, said the federal government’s directive was important to ensure that people do not enter into Nigeria or leave Nigeria through illegal means.
“A border is a place where there are Immigration and Customs. If you want to enter into Nigeria, there is a border. The rule is that you pass through the border. If you are going pass through the border, carry your documents with you,” he said.
The Comptroller of Customs also explained in an interview with journalists that the border closure has yielded positive results and would remain closed till neigbouring countries cooperate with the Nigerian government.
Nigeria has shut its borders with neighbouring countries including, Benin Republic and Niger for about a month.