The comptroller-general of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), Hameed Ali, has disclosed that the federal government is not willing to change its stand on the closure of borders anytime soon.
Ali, who spoke at Idiroko, Ogun state, said the federal government is not ready to open the borders as the country continues to check the trends of smuggling.
According to Ali, the borders can only be reopened when the government is satisfied that the protocols on the movement of goods and persons as established by ECOWAS are strictly obeyed by countries within the body.
The Cable quotes Ali as saying the government never planned to reopen the border after 28 days. “We are touring the operations sectors. As you know, we are doing an operation called ‘border drill’ and as a result of that, we have deployed our men in most of these commands.
“There are three reasons why we go round. First is to convey Mr President’s commendation to our troops and personnel that have been deployed to carry out those drills.
“Second is to further explain to them the reasons why we are doing this drill and third is to get feedback on the ground as to the successes and challenges,” he said.
He said the government only decided to take its actions one after the other with the first phase being for 28 days.
“The border drill has no definitive end, but what we believe we want is that we want to establish a relationship with our neighbours and this relationship is mutual.
“And unless we get to that point, where we now sit down and agree on the way we can complement one another, the way we can adhere to the protocols of movement of goods and persons, we would not have achieved,” he added.