By Alex Akao
Hopes of an early reversal of the nation’s land borders closures appeared deemed at the weekend with the Federal government announcing that the frontiers will remain shut till the end of January 2020.
The Federal government through the office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) had initiated the partial border closure from August 18th 2019, to last for one month only for the order to be extended indefinitely.
This latest directive is contain in a Memo number NCS/ENF/ABJ/221/S.45 addressed to all Sector Coordinators, Joint Border Operation Drill (Exercise Swift Response), Sectors 1, 2, 3&4, advising for compliance.
The memo which was signed by Comptroller Victor David Dimka, Comptroller (Enforcement), Customs Headquarters on behalf of Deputy Comptroller General Enforcement, Investigation and Inspection (E,I &I) is titled, “Re- Extension of Exercise Swift Response”
The memo dated 1st November 2019 states that,” I am directed to inform you that it is observed that despite the overwhelming success of the Operation particularly, the security and economic benefits to the nation, a few strategic objectives are yet to be achieved.
“Against this background, Mr. President has approved an extension of the Exercise to 31st January 2020.
“Consequently, you are required to convey the development to all personnel for their awareness and guidance”.
The memo further disclosed that to this end, “allowances for personnel sustenance and fueling of vehicles for the period of extension will be paid as soon as possible. This is for your information and necessary action”.
NigerianCurrent gathered that despite the memo, the nation’s land borders may remained closed beyond January next year to enable adequate gestation period for the current national policy on agriculture which is aimed at food self sustenance.
The border closure had elicited diverse reactions from both within the country as well as the international community with divided opinions for and against the policy being freely expressed.
Apart from the cream of local importers who have cried out against the continued closure, neighboring countries such as Benin Republic, Cameroun, Ghana and Togo, have variously appealed to the Nigerian au