The acting Comptroller General of Customs, Bashir Wala Adeniyi, has said the federal government will only reopen all the land borders when the nation’s internal security improves.
Adeniyi, who spoke at the Seme Border in Badagry during a meeting with the business community, said the full reopening of the borders depends on the readiness of the local communities to cooperate with the customs and other security agencies in combating insecurity and smuggling.
He said all the security agencies need intelligence from the communities on the activities of smugglers of arms and ammunition and to assist security agents to properly secure the border areas against illicit importations.
According to him, the move would be a symbiotic relationship that would be beneficial to all.
- Jega, Mbari lead ECOWAS, AU pre-election fact-finding mission to Liberia
- Suleja chief imam dies hours after return from hajj
“By the time this is done, we can now start discussing allowing vehicles to come in through the borders. We can now start considering allowing food to also come in through the borders if we cannot have enough capacity to feed ourselves.”
“These are conversations that would happen within us when we have gotten assurances from the communities that they would be ready to assist the agencies in doing their job,” he said
He added that the issue of multiple checkpoints along the Seme borders would be streamlined in conjunction with other security agencies.
“Before I came here, I had received communications from the Area Controller, he had reflected on a number of the burning issues which is the source of concern for the communities here.
“The list is very long, but the most important is that we want to enhance our national security; we want to do it with fewer number of checkpoints. We get your message and we would be doing it with other security agencies to see how we can rationalize the checkpoints.”
He noted that national security is not the responsibility of government agencies alone and charged the communities to “make the life and the work of our security agents easier.”
“The criminals live among us; those importing arms and ammunition live among us, they operate within our precinct. What you can do to help our national security is to help us with information and intelligence for us to catch these criminals visiting mayhem in our communities.