By Chioma Iruke
The Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) has disclosed that the lack of compliance by residents of Jibia community in Katsina State with the protocol involved in transit of goods and trade facilitation, is delaying the reopening of the Nigeria-Niger boarder.
According to the NCS, the Jibia border and other borders in the state would remain closed until residents of the border communities and traders adhere to the protocol of transiting goods and trade facilitation.
The Acting Comptroller of the Katsina Area Command of the NCS, Dalha Wada Chedi, told journalists after a meeting between NCS and the Community Consultative Forum that the level of compliance with border rules in the state is poor.
Chedi explained that the inability of the citizens to comply with the ease of doing business and guidelines issued by the federal government for reopening of borders, has made it cumbersome for the government to open the borders despite their economic benefits.
He said: “The compliance level in Katsina is very poor and this makes it difficult for the federal government to consider Katsina in terms of reopening its borders. That is why it is difficult for the government to reopen the borders despite their economic benefits.
“Jibia border in particular is highly volatile because people, including smugglers, are inciting the public against the customs officials in the state.”
He added that the NCS and other security agencies in the state are working in synergy to forestall bandits and other criminal activities within the border communities.
Meanwhile, the NCS also announced the seizure of 1,000 jerry cans of fuel suspected to be on their way to bandits in their enclaves in adjoining forests in the state.
He added that the command also intercepted 11 vehicles, as well as other contraband with duty paid value of N50,665,860.00 in border communities across the state.
He said the items seized included 187 bags of foreign rice, 24 jerry cans of vegetable oil, 549 cartons of foreign spaghetti, 29 cartons of Macaroni, 12 cartons of foreign tea pots, 236 packs of foreign black tea, 84 jerry cans of petrol.
Other contraband, he said, were 14 motorcycles, 205 USB chargers, 350 bags of beans and seven bags of Tiger nuts, totalling N50,665,860.00.