Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), acting Comptroller-General, Mr Adewale Adeniyi, has said that no fewer than six land borders have been reopened by the Federal Government led by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Adeniyi made this known after a meeting with President Bola Tinubu at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Tuesday, July 11, 2023. The Customs boss, who disclosed that not all the land borders in the country have been reopened, said: “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 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’s not going to be subject of rumour in any way.”
He added that the Service will focus on decongesting the nation’s ports, saying this would make the ports more user-friendly and improve an export-led economic development strategy. Adeniyi stressed that the Customs officers would carry out their duties in line with the objectives of the Customs Service and the Policy Advisory Document on the Customs (PAC).
Adeniyi said the recent election of Tinubu as ECOWAS Chairman means more work for the Customs and strong collaboration among countries in the region. He said: “For us in the Nigerian Customs Service, ECOWAS represents a very bold attempt to forge regional integration, cooperation in border security and monetary affairs.
“And it is so good to note that my assumption of office coincides with that period when attention will be focused on Nigeria holding the flag of regional integration. I can also tell you that part of my discussions with Mr President is to actively engage customs administration across our borders, particularly the strategic ones that we must work and collaborate with for us to achieve common objectives of border security and regional integration.
“In the next one week, or thereabout, I will be paying an official visit to Republic of Benin, to have discussions with the Customs Administration of Benin, and see how we can take forward the issue of collaborations between us, the issue of border security, the issue of importation across the border, and more importantly, how we can deploy technological solutions to very complex border problems.”