Customs Wants Total Shut Down Of Cotonou Border
It appears the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS is fed up with the smuggling activities that continue to flourish at Nigeria’s border with Benin Republic.
It now wants the border to be closed.
It was the NCS boss himself, Col. Hameed Ali that made a case for this total shut down during the 2017 Annual General Meeting of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria in Lagos.
He recalled that the closure of the border was done in 2013 during the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, when the spate of cross-border crimes such as smuggling, armed robbery and human trafficking, became unbearable.
He said it might be necessary to close the border because the NCS was finding it increasingly challenging to man the area due to the wiles of smugglers and the impact their activities was having on the economy and the growth of local industries.
Interestingly, he is not alone.
The Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh shares the same opinion.
Ogbeh warned that government might be forced to take very drastic measures due to the porous nature of the border and the volume of rice and other consumables being smuggled through the place into the country.
According to him, the situation has rubbished efforts of the present administration in diversifying the economy through agriculture.
“If that border will be a threat to the survival of Nigeria, we may decide to take a very drastic action,” Ogbeh had reportedly stated.
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