Customs: Why We’re Yet to Reopen Jibia-Niger Republic Border

By Francis Sardauna

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has attributed the continued closure of the Nigeria’s border with Niger Republic at Jibia, Katsina State, to lack of residents’ compliance to protocols involved in transit of goods and trade facilitation.

The NCS explained that the Jibia border and other borders in the state would remain closed by the federal government until residents of the border communities and traders adhere to the protocols of transiting goods and trade facilitation.

The Acting Comptroller of the Katsina Area Command of the NCS, Mr. Dalha Wada Chedi, told journalists after a meeting with the communities that the level of compliance to border rules in the state is very poor.

Participants at the meeting who were drawn from traditional and religious institutions, traders associations, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), human rights organisations, government officials and residents of border communities, resolved to avert skirmishes between the NCS personnel and residents to boost economic development.

Chedi explained that the inability of the citizens to comply with the ease of doing business and guidelines issued by the federal government for reopening of borders has made it cumbersome for the government to open the borders despite their economic benefits.

He said: “The compliance level in Katsina is very poor and this makes it difficult for the federal government to consider Katsina in terms of reopening its borders. That is why it is difficult for the government to reopen the borders despite their economic benefits.

“Jibia border in particular is highly volatile because people, including smugglers, are indicting the public against the customs officials in the state.”

He said the NCS and other security agencies in the state were working in synergy to forestall bandits and other criminal’s activities within the border communities.

He, however, announced the seizure of 1,000 jerry cans of fuel suspected to be conveying to bandits in their enclaves in adjoining forests in the state.

He added that the command also intercepted 11 vehicles as well as other contraband with duty paid value of N50,665,860.00 in border communities across the state.

He said the items seized include 187 bags of foreign rice; 24 jerry cans of vegetable oil; 549 cartons of foreign spaghetti; 29 cartons of Macaroni; 12 cartons of foreign tea pots, 236 packs of foreign black tea, 84 jerricans of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).

Other contraband, he said, were 14 motorcyles, 205 USB chargers, 350 bags of beans and seven bags of Tigger nuts, totalling N50,665,860.00.

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