Customs CG: We’re Consulting Widely Over Possible Border Re-opening

Deji Elumoye in Abuja

The federal government on Tuesday disclosed that it is making progress about consultations over possibilities of reopening the nation’s land borders with neighbouring countries and meeting representatives of the affected countries on ways forward.

Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Adewale Adeniyi, who made this known while speaking to newsmen at the State House, Abuja after the inauguration of the National Single Window Project, said he had been in touch with his counterparts from Niger and Benin Republics.

According to him, issues that led to the closure of the borders are currently being considered, along with ways to ensure that such occasions never reoccur, adding that steady progress is being made in that direction.

His words: “In terms of opening the land borders, consultations are already in progress, some of them are very high level. Over the last weekend, I had an interaction with my colleagues in Benin Republic, earlier I’ve gone to our borders with Niger Republic.

“We are looking at the issues that led to the closure of the border in the first instance and we are working to ensure that those things do not repeat themselvesself and I’m happy to say that we are making steady progress.

“We will continue to consult, we will continue to take guidance from Mr. President. Everything is to ensure that we have borders that are secured and hopefully with the deployment of Single Window at our ports and border stations, our borders will be more secured and we’re going to run them more efficiently”.

Adeniyi, however, lauded President Bola Tinubu for his strides towards securing Nigeria’s economy, particularly through the newly launched National Single Window Project of which he is a member of the Presidential Steering Committee that will pilot the implementation of the project.

He said: “I am not really sure if Mr. President mentioned the word ‘border’ during the inauguration of the steering committee, but honestly, this provides us an opportunity to mention something because since the single window system is seen as a coordinated border management system.

“First, let me express my sincere delight and appreciation to Mr. President for making this happen. This is not the first time an attempt like this has been made, but over the years, we’ve had situations where some kind of power play has characterized the implementation of the single windows.

“So we’re happy that this time we have a situation where Mr. President has demonstrated commitment and a very strong will and these are very strong, critical success factors for implementation of any project, particularly a project like Single Window that is collaborative in nature. 

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