The Comptroller-General, Nigerian Customs Service, retired Col. Hameed Ali insisted that all import and export of goods from the nation’s land borders remain banned until there is an agreement with neighboring countries on the kind of goods that should enter and exit Nigeria.
According to Ali, the measure is to enable the security agencies to scan the goods entering the country, adding that, all the goods must only enter through the legitimate air and sea ports where they can undergo thorough scanning and certified to make it is fit for consumption.
Ali said, he hope that by the end of the exercise, it will be exactly what the Nigeria and the neighboring countries agree on the type of goods that should enter and exit the country.
Col Ali said that as for now, all goods, whether illicit or non-illicit, is banned from going and coming into Nigeria.
He said that, the customs service has deemed it necessary for now that importers of all goods especially legal ones should go through controlled boarders where the goods will be scanned by scanners to verify the kind of goods and how healthy it’s to the people can be conducted.
The Customs boss disclosed the news in Abuja during a joint press briefing on joint border patrol that is codenamed ‘EX-SWIFT RESPONSE.
The Ex-SWIFT RESPONSE is in line with the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) comprising the Nigerian Police Force, Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), the Nigerian Armed Forces and other security agencies in address trans-border security issues.
He insisted that despite the rights for movement of persons, and the enabling ECOWAS protocols, there must be primacy of security over such rights.
Ali in a response on whether the Federal Government had not breached the rights of the citizenry to movement and international trade, said that when it comes to security, all laws take a back seat.