Nigeria pursues security, economic interests with border closure


The closure of Nigeria’s borders was undertaken to strengthen the country’s security and protect its economic interests, a customs official has said.

“Our interest is to make sure that our country is secure, the well-being of our people is ensured and our economy is secure,” Hameed Ali, the Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) said at a meeting Thursday in Lagos, Nigeria’s economic hub.

The customs chief told his audience, comprising freight forwarders and security agencies, that the closure was not intended to hurt anyone but to protect the nation’s interests.

The Nigerian government had in August partially closed the country’s borders with neighboring countries as a proactive measure in checking cases of smuggling into the country.

Ali said lots of things had gone wrong regarding compliance with transit of goods, adding that the border closure was to ensure that things were streamlined so that all stakeholders could be back to doing the right things.

“The operation is undertaken to ensure that we get things back in perspective,” he said.

He called for support and cooperation of the stakeholders to ensure the nation is protected.

The joint-border security exercise, code-named “Ex-Swift Response”, was ordered by the government and was aimed at securing Nigeria’s land and maritime borders.

The exercise commenced on Aug. 19 and was being jointly conducted by the customs, immigration, police and military personnel and coordinated by the Office of the National Security Adviser. Enditem

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