Nigerian borders would remain closed until neighbouring countries comply with protocols on the movement of goods and persons as established by the Economic Community of West African States, the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Col Hameed Ali (retd), has said.
Ali, who said this while speaking with journalists during a visit to the Idiroko Border in Ogun State, announced that there was no end in sight to the partial closure of land borders until the condition was met.
He noted that adherence to protocols on the movement of persons and goods would ensure mutual benefit of the countries and enhance coexistence.
Ali, who was with the Controller-General of the Nigerian Immigration Service, Muhammad Babandede, maintained that the border closure was never intended to be in force within 28 days.
While commending the joint security operatives deployed for the enforcement of the policy, Ali said President Muhammadu Buhari had expressed satisfaction with the operations.
He said, “It was never meant to end at the end of the 28th day. As for planning purposes, we take it step by step.
“Phase one was when we put 28 days. The border drill has no definitive end but what we believe we want is to establish a relationship with our neighbours and this relationship is mutual coexistence.
“So, we will keep this drill going on until we get to the point where we now sit down and agree on the basic things that will mutually benefit us and mutually enhance our coexistence and ensure that the protocols established by ECOWAS, not by Nigeria, are adhered to strictly.”
The joint-border security exercise code-named ‘Ex-Swift Response’, which was ordered by the Nigerian Government, commenced in August to secure Nigeria’s land and water borders.