‘We Are Still Studying The President’s Pronouncement’

The Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, on Wednesday, declared that the recent pronouncement by President Bola Tinubu does not imply that Nigeria’s land borders would be fully opened.

Adeniyi stated that the service is still studying the directive made by the President but noted that the pronouncement is not aimed at opening the border for smuggled goods to enter the country.

The Customs boss emphasized that the President’s pronouncement is to ease food importation into the country and curb hunger issues in Nigeria through the suspension of tariffs and taxes.

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Naija News reports he stated this while speaking when the House of Representatives Committee on Customs and Excise visited the headquarters of the service on oversight.

He said: “We are still studying it ourselves. There is nothing in that pronouncement that says the extant rules have changed apart from the suspension of the tariff and taxes. Things that are not allowed through the land border have not been allowed by that pronouncement.

“There is nothing in that pronouncement on that because nothing was said about it. But if there are specific issues or requests that will be made from border areas, we can articulate them as input to the Minister. What was released recently as a product of several months of consultation?

“The objective is for us to address hunger in Nigeria and not to provide a base for smuggling through the land border. So, we have to be very careful in the implementation to ensure we don’t get undesired objective from it.”

Adeniyi, during the interaction, also denied authorizing customs officers to raid markets in search of smuggled goods.

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He said, “Let me issue a disclaimer. I did not authorise any Customs Officer to go to any market. We are not supposed to go to any market or operate in the market.

“But the market is not supposed to provide a sanctuary for smuggled goods. If we have information that there are smuggled goods in an area, the law allows us to go there. But because we went to keep the peace, that is why we don’t raid markets, but we also want market people to display some level of responsibility.”

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