ANLCA: Reopening Land Borders Will Not Fuel Rice, Vehicle Smuggling

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By DAPO OLAWUNI

The Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) has commended the decision of the federal government to reopen the land borders that were shut across the country, saying that Nigeria is ready for implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA)

In an exclusive chat with DAILY TREND NEWS, Chairman of Seme Border chapter of ANLCA, Barr Lasisi Bisiriyu Fanu said that reopening the borders will not necessarily fuel smuggling of rice, vehicles or other banned items.

He said “The rice and vehicles have been banned at the borders before the closure, so the reopening is just for activities that has been going on officially before the closure”

Fanu recalled that the association wrote several letters to the Federal Government to reopen the borders so that cargoes trapped can be released.

He commended the government for listening to the cry of Nigerians by reopening the four land borders, even as he assured that operators would now take advantage of the reopening to solve their challenges.

“Now that the borders have been opened, we would continue our operations and people that have challenges would be able to solve their problems”

“Our appeal however is that, whenever the government is planning to close the border like this, they should give us a notice, even if it is one month notice, so that people’s cargoes would not be trapped at the borders, we would have removed them, even if it was one week notice, they can do that through the Area Comptroller’

“We appreciate the government for opening the borders” he said

Fanu said the reopening is also an indication of Nigeria’s readiness for AfCFTA implementation

“Nigeria is ready for the commencement of AfCFTA, opening the borders has shown that the federal government is ready for the implementation of the agreement” he said

The Federal Government on Wednesday ordered the immediate reopening of four land borders across the country.

The land borders are Seme (South-West), Ilela (North West), Maigatari (North-West) and Mfum (South-South).

Nigeria had shut its land borders last year as parts of government’s sustained efforts to check smuggling and other illicit cross-border activities.

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