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Hameed Ali insists on conditions to reopen borders



Amid calls for the review of the partial border closure, the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) Comptroller-General, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd), on Monday revealed that the Federal Government is still insisting on the assurance that the neighbouring countries have got rid of the manners which led to the partial closure.

Speaking with reporters after the opening ceremony of the 2020 International Customs Day in Abuja, Ali said that the Federal Government is still refining the certain parameters that it has reached with the neighbouring countries on the reopening of the borders.

The theme of this year’s International Customs Day is: “Customs fostering sustainability for people, prosperity and the planet.”

“I believe that as soon as we are able to get to them  we will relax certain things at the borders. For now, we are still conducting our partial border closure under the drill,” he explained.

At the moment, he further revealed, Nigeria is expecting a certain degree of compliance from the other countries to know how to cooperate to fortify the borders.

Asked to give an update on the review of the partial border closure, Ali said: “We are still talking with them. There are parameters of understanding. We have reached certain understanding. I believe that as soon as we are able to get to them  we will relax certain things at the borders.”

Ali expressed hope that not too long from now, the country will know how she can work with her neighbours so that together, agreement on fortifying the borders will be reached.

“We are not only talking about Nigeria, we are also asking them to ensure that their borders are also fortified from our own illicit trafficking,” he said.

Earlier, he noted that the results of the ongoing border drill in collaboration with other security agencies is renewing opportunities that exists within agricultural, economic and manufacturing sectors among others.

The Customs boss said that the opportunities have stimulated more economic activities, as farmers are enjoying unprecedented patronage, farms are being expanded and job opportunities being provided.

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