The Nigeria Customs Service has explained that the closure of Nigeria’s borders with Niger Republic is not a declaration of war between the two countries as speculated.
The NCS Acting Comptroller General, Adewale Adeniyi, said this while addressing Illela border community in Sokoto State.
Adeniyi, who was at the Illela border to ascertain the level of compliance, stated that what is happening in Nigeria is also happening in other states of West Africa that share the same border with Niger Republic.
He said: “My mission here is to restate the directives of President Bola Tinubu, being not only the Commander in Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria but also Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
“As we are aware one of the Chairman’s responsibilities is to promote trade between members of ECOWAS.
“But we all know that trade cannot happen in an environment where there is no peace.
“So the intention of government is to ensure that we leverage perfectly on the nexus between trade and security.”
The Customs boss added that the situation happening in Niger Republic is such that trade cannot strive, saying: “This development initiated the ECOWAS Heads of States decision to seize trade with our neighbours, the Republic of Niger.
“However, there are other measures that are ongoing, the diplomatic front, there are engagement going on with the authority of Niger to ensure the crisis is peacefully resolved.”
Adeniyi further stated that the action is not only restricted to Illela border but all other areas where the Niger Republic is bordering the country.
He added: “So what we are saying is that the closure will be a temporary thing until we have final resolution of the crisis in Niger Republic.
“But certainly we are not at war with Niger Republic and no such declaration has been made.”
Also speaking, the District Head of Illela, Alhaji Buhari Tukur, appreciated the Customs boss, assuring that the community would continue to remain law abiding and respect government policies.
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