Borders will remain closed until govt’s objectives are achieved – Customs

Nigerian Customs Service on Sunday said the January 31, 2020 date which was contained in a leaked memo is not the terminal date for the border closure.

Public Relations Officer, NCS, Mr Joseph Attah confirmed the development in a telephone interview with our correspondent on Sunday.

Attah said January 31, 2020, is not a terminal date for the entire border closure exercise but just for this phase of the operation.

He said the borders will remain closed indefinitely until the day objectives of government for the operation is fully achieved.

He said, “This is not a terminal date, it’s just for this phase. You know operations of this type is phase by phase. So this phase is extended to January 31.

“January 31 is the end of this phase, it’s in phases, two months, three months we chose another phase. It is not a terminal date. The exercise will continue until the set objectives are achieved.”

President Muhammadu Buhari according to the memo had approved the extension of the closure of Nigeria’s border with neighbouring countries to January 31, next year.

The exercise code-named operation Exercise Swift Response had resulted in joint border operation by a combined team of security agencies.

Deputy Comptroller of Customs in charge of Enforcement, Investigation and Inspectorate, Mr Victor Dimka, conveyed the Presidential directive in a memo to the Sector Coordinators.

The memo with reference number NCS/ENF/ABJ/221/S.45, and marked “Restricted” was dated November 1, 2019.

The memo which was obtained by our correspondent on Sunday said 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.

The Customs memo said the need to achieve the strategic objectives of the exercise informed the extension of this phase by the President. It assured operatives that are involved in the joint operations that their allowances would be paid.

The memo reads in part, “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 the extension of the exercise to January 31, 2020.

“Consequently, you are requested to convey the development to all personnel for their awareness and guidance.

“Meanwhile, allowance for personnel sustenance and fuelling of vehicles for the period of extension will be paid as soon as possible.

“This is for your information and necessary action, please.”

 

Punch

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