There are indications that Nigerians may go through more difficulties as Nigeria Customs Service on Monday announced an indefinite ban on importation and exportation of goods via the land borders.
Announcing the development, during a press briefing in Abuja, the Comptroller-General, NCS, Col. Hameed Ali (retd), disclosed that the directives was applicable to all forms of goods.
“For now, all goods, whether illicit or non-illicit, are banned from going and coming into Nigeria. Let me add that for the avoidance of doubt, we have included all goods because all goods can equally come through our seaports.
“For that reason, we have deemed it necessary for now that importers of such goods should go through our controlled boarders where we have scanners to verify the goods and how healthy they are to our people”, Ali said.
By this, it was believed that goods, especially consumables like rice and others would be expected in the country, but through the seaport.
The customs boss, who expressed concern that some neighbouring countries were circumventing the ECOWAS protocol on transit, maintained that the exercise was targeted at addressing trans-border security concerns and strengthens the economy.
He said, “For clarity, the ECOWAS protocol on transit demands that when a transit container berths at a seaport, the receiving country is mandated to escort same without tampering with the seal to the border of the destination country.
“Unfortunately, experience has shown that our neighbours do not comply with this protocol. Rather, they break the seals of containers at their ports and trans-load goods destined for Nigeria.”
He also maintained that border closure had reduced smuggling of foreign rice into Nigeria and addressed the diversion of petroleum products from Nigeria to neighbouring countries.
He said 10.2 million litres of petrol had been stopped from being diverted out of the country since the borders were closed.
Recall that NSC had in August stated a number of goods prohibited prom importation into Nigeria. The goods include Rice, Cement, Margarine, Palm kernel/Palm oil products/vegetables oils, Meat and processed meat products, Vegetables and processed vegetable products, Poultry chicken, eggs, turkey, Private airplanes/jets, Indian incense, Tinned fish in sauce (Geisha)/sardines and others.
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