The comptroller general of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Col. Hammed Ali (rtd) has said that no item would be imported or exported through the nation’s land borders anymore until the federal government reaches agreement with its neighbours.
Ali disclosed this at a joint news conference with the comptroller general of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Mr. Mohammed Babandede in Abuja yesterday
He said the measure would enable security agencies to be able to scan goods entering into the country.
The comptroller said goods would only come into Nigeria through the air and seaports, where they can undergo thorough scanning and certified fit for consumption.
“We hope that by the time we get to the end of this exercise, we would have agreed with our neighbours on the type of goods that should enter and exit our country.
“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, that we included all goods because all goods can equally come through our seaports,” said.
Meanwhile, he said operatives of the ongoing joint border security codenamed ‘Exercise Swift Response’ had confiscated items worth N1.4 billion since the partial closure of borders was enforced.
The exercise, which began on August 20, is being coordinated by the Office of the National Security Adviser in the four zones of northwest, north central, southwest and south-south geopolitical zones.
Ali explained that the items seized since the commencement of the exercise were 21,071 of 50kg of per boiled foreign rice; 190 vehicles; 891 drums filled with Premium Motor Spirit, and 2,665 jerry cans of vegetable oil.
He said other items were 133 motorcycles; 70 jerry cans of PMS, and 131 bags of NPK fertiliser.
He further said some unscrupulous people used such fertilisers for explosives to perpetrate mayhem in the country.
He added that 95 per cent of illicit drugs and weapons used for terrorism come through the porous borders.
Besides, he said the rate of insecurity in the country had reduced dramatically since the closure of borders.
The comptroller also said 317 suspected smugglers and 146 illegal migrants were arrested during operations.