…Puts Customs officers on Red alert
The Federal Government of Nigeria has announced a ban on transit cargo to neighbouring Niger Republic even as it placed customs officers manning its land borders on red alert.
Adewale Adeniyi, acting Comptroller-General of Customs who announced this on Sunday, directed officers and men of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) manning the Benin Republic, Cameron and other land borders to maintain a high level of vigilance as a result of the recent closure of Nigeria’s border with Niger Republic.
While addressing officers and men of the NCS during his working visit to the headquarters of the Ogun Area 1 Command of the NCS at Idiroko, Ogun State, the Customs boss called on operatives manning the land borders to wage war against any attempt to jeopardise Nigeria’s national security.
He explained that special attention must be given to transit goods heading to Niger Republic.
He directed that any transit goods through customs territory should be stopped if they are headed to Niger Republic.
Bola Tinubu had ordered the shutting of Nigerian land borders with Niger Republic as part of measures against the military junta in the West African country.
According to Adeniyi, criminals in an attempt to break or smuggle arms into Niger Republic may explore other land borders like that of Benin Republic and Cameroon.
He said, “We are all aware of the situation in our northern neighbour, Republic of Niger. In response to the national presidential directive from our President and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, Bola Tinubu, as our President and as the Chairman of the ECOWAS authorities of Heads of States, we are monitoring the situation in Niger closely and one of the decisions taken in the wisdom of the Heads of States is the closure of our borders with Niger.
“Over the last week, I paid a working visit to some of those borders and I can assure you that the implementation of that measure there is 100 percent. And when that happens, people who want to smuggle things into that country may want to explore openings in other borders.
“This is why it is important for you to be very, very vigilant. Anywhere we have borders, there could be compromise and there could be attempts to use routes that are not necessarily normal for them to cross things into Niger.
“All transit goods going into Niger, for now, are to be stopped anywhere you see them. Any transit goods through the Nigeria customs territory should be stopped if they are headed to Niger Republic.
“And this is also a time for us to remain very, very vigilant because the enemies of the state are still at work. Those who are bent on destabilising the country are still at work. You recall the incidents of about two weeks ago when some elements smuggled ammunition across, using some of the plans we have here.
“So, this is therefore a reminder that you cannot afford to relax at any point in time. Your level of vigilance and the level of alertness must be 100 percent. You must be ready all the time. You must cultivate very, very credible and useful intelligence from amongst the community that you live. And you must learn to synergise and cooperate with other agencies who are working together with you to enhance national security.”