31 Importers Have Died Due to Border Closure, Customs Agents Raise Alarm

…As Benin Citizens Allegedly Vandalise Trapped Cargoes

By DAPO OLAWUNI

Even as the Nigerian National Security Adviser, Babagana Munguno has directed the Nigeria Customs Service to ensure that goods trapped at the land borders are allowed to come into the country, clearing agents have raised alarm, saying that about 31 importers have died due to the ongoing border closure by the federal government.

Mr Muyiwa Ayeni, a member of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) at Seme Border chapter, stated this at a meeting convened by the Board of Trustees of the association in Lagos yesterday.

The chairman of ANLCA at Seme Border, Barr Lasisi Fanu had on 18th August 2020 written to the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) appealing for the release of several trucks trapped at the borders.

National President of ANLCA, Tony Iju Nwabunike later announced that the government has finally agreed to allow the trapped trucks to come into the country.

Speaking to journalists, Mr Muyiwa Aiyeni raised alarm that, apart from the fact that some of perishable cargoes in the trucks have rotten away, many of the trucks with cargoes worth billions of Naira are being looted and vandalise by Benin Republic hoodlums on the other side of the border.

He said “31 people are dead as a result of the border closure, the goods are stuck on the other side of the border, these are the guys that import virtually everything we enjoy in this country, but all these items have been stopped, rice was stopped, frozen food, textile among others, all the items have been banned from coming into the country through the border”

“I see myself as a Nigerian, and a survival whose moral has been dampened now” he said

Reacting to the fact that the ONSA, have now directed the Nigeria Customs Service to ensure release of the trapped goods, Mr. Ayeni commended the move, but stated it was belated.

“It is a good sign, but ordinarily, they should have allowed these goods to come in first, and put them in the custody of the customs”

“If you see the rate at which those trapped cargoes are being vandalised over there, these are goods worth billions of Naira, for over one year now, this has been going on”

“The trucks are so many, and the Benenoise have been going there to vandalise the trucks, even for us to go back and check the trucks stuck there, they dont allow us to go there.
People at the border are struggling to survival”

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