Border closure to continue until neighbouring countries understand Nigeria’s economic problem – Aniebonam


As the effect of the partial closure of the Nigerian borders continues to hit harder on both Nigerians and the neighbouring countries, the founder of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Dr. Boniface Aniebonam has said that the action will continue until the neighbouring countries understand the economic problems facing Nigeria.

Aniebonam who stated this in an interview with Primetime Reporters in Lagos recently observed that neighbouring countries should appreciate the fact that they were Nigeria’s neighbours and should be borthers’ keepers.

“Our economy is running down and it cannot continue. So, if the neighbours see reason for the cry of Nigerian government, then the border will be opened because it is a matter that can easily be solved’, he said.

He disclosed that the government of Nigeria had provided opportunity for neighbouring countries like Benin Republic to escort goods on transit to Nigerian side and hand them over to the Nigeria Customs but regretted that that was not being done adding “I have not seen any section of the customs law that says that containerized goods cannot come through the border.”

“So, when a cargo is on transit, the final destination is Nigeria. So, if the cargo lands in Benin Republic, the same consignment, containerized will go with the seal to Nigerian border and then Nigeria will break the seal because the cargo is coming to Nigeria. And this is what the government is talking about”, he added.

On the impact of the partial closure of the borders on the Nigerian economy, Aniebonam who is also the National Chairman of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) had this to say, “More cargoes are coming into our ports. As a matter of fact, some of these goods are being re-routed back to our ports through the normal process but that is not to say that we should not be part of the protocol. I have just told you that there is need for engagement and also respecting memorandum of understanding and if they don’t ensure that, the border should remain closed. A lot of Nigerians have no job here, so, government has the responsibility to provide for its citizens.”

It will be recalled that as part of measures to secure Nigeria’s land and maritime borders, the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) and  Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), in collaboration with the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) as well as the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) and other security and intelligence agencies commenced a joint border security exercise, codenamed ‘EX-SWIFT RESPONSE’ in 4 geopolitical zones of the country, namely; South South, South West, North Central and North West on the 20th August 2019.

The exercise is being coordinated by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) and is aimed at better securing Nigerian borders in order to strengthen local economy and address other trans-border security concerns.

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