Niger Republic has banned the exportation of rice to Nigeria following the closure of Nigeria’s borders.
Since August 20, 2019, Nigeria has closed its borders in four geopolitical zones across the country, which include South-South, South-West, North-Central and North-West.
In his address during a joint press briefing in Abuja on Monday, the Comptroller-General, Nigerian Customs Service, Hameed Ali, revealed that Niger Republic recently banned the export of rice to Nigeria as a result of the closure.
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He said, “The government, through diplomatic channels will continue to engage our neighbours to agree to comply with ECOWAS Protocol on Transit.
“Goods that are on the prohibition list in Nigeria, such as rice, used clothes, poultry products and vegetable oil should not be exported to the country.
“As a result of this [border] closure, Niger Republic has already circulated an order banning exportation of rice in any form to Nigeria.”
The partial closure of Nigeria’s borders is enforced by the NCS and Nigerian Immigration Service, in collaboration with Nigerian Armed Forces, as well as the Nigeria Police Force.
The exercise is being coordinated by the Office of the National Security Adviser.
Ali said the aim of the exercise was to better secure Nigeria’s borders in order to strengthen the economy and address transborder security concerns.
The customs boss said it was disturbing that some neighbouring countries circumvent the ECOWAS protocol on transit.
He said, “For clarity, the ECOWAS protocol on transit demands that when a transit container berths at a seaport, the receiving country is mandated to escort same without tampering with the seal to the border of the destination country.
“Unfortunately, experience has shown that our neighbours do not comply with this protocol. Rather, they break the seals of containers at their ports and trans-load goods destined for Nigeria.”
Ali said the partial closure of the borders had curbed the smuggling of foreign rice into Nigeria and addressed the diversion of petroleum products from Nigeria to neighbouring countries.
According to him, 10.2 million litres of Premium Motor Spirit had been stopped from being diverted out of Nigeria since the borders were closed, while producers of local food were making increased earnings.