FG: Border Closure Extended Till The Year 2020:
It was on the month of October that the Federal Government of Nigeria decided to close their borders to their neighboring countries due to smuggling and other acts of indiscipline in the state.
The border closure which has benefited the country economically and financially is now extended till the year 2020.
President Muhammadu Buhari approved the extension of the ongoing “Exercise Swift Response” across the nation’s border until January 31, 2020 according to the channel TV online news.
The source confirms that they obtained an official memo signed by the comptroller(enforcement) of the Nigeria Customs Service(NCS), Mr Victor Dimka.
The memo was dated November 1, 2019 and addressed to the sector coordinators of the Joint Border Operation Drill – Sectors 1, 2, 3, 4.
Dimka noted that the exercise has recorded overwhelming success considering it’s benefits to the nation’s economy and security.
The memo read:
“I am directed to inform you that it is observed that despite the overwhelming success of the operation, particularly the security and economic benefits to the nation, a few strategic objectives are yet to be achieved.
Against this background, Mr President has approved an extension of the exercise to January 31, 2020.
Consequently, you are requested to convey the development to all personnel for their awareness and guidance.
Meanwhile, allowances of personnel sustenance and fuelling of vehicles for the throughout the period of this extension will be paid as soon as possible.
This is for your information and necessary action, please.”
The exercise is a joint effort of the Nigeria Customs Service And the Nigeria Immigration Service in collaboration with other security agencies.
As reported by Channels television in an interview in August, the comptroller-General of NIS Mr Muhammad Babandede had said, “There is no border closure but there was a border drill and there was an announcement from the office of the National Security Adviser(NSA).
Two days later, President Muhammadu Buhari confirmed that there was a partial closure of Nigeria’s border within the Benin Republic when he met with the Country’s president, Patrice Talon, in Japan.
The development was attributed to the massive smuggling activities that have taken place on that corridor.
President Buhari said “Nigeria has saved huge sums of money which would otherwise have been expended on importing rice using the nation’s scarce foreign reserves.”
the Comptroller General of Customs, Colonel Hameed Ali (rtd), on October 14, announced that Nigeria has been able saved N1.4 billion for few weeks.
Colonel Ali disclosed that a total of 317 suspected smugglers and 146 illegal migrants were arrested while the exercise is on, he said.
The Customs boss was happy that the border closure was yielding the desired results as the nation’s consumption of petroleum products had dropped by 10.2 million litres.