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Business News

FG orders complete border closure, bans movement of goods

The Federal Government of Nigeria has ordered the complete closure of the Nigerian border, placing a ban on both legitimate and illegitimate movement of goods in and out of the country. 

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Closure of Nigerian borders: The positives and the negatives

The Federal Government (FG) of Nigeria has ordered the complete closure of the Nigerian border, placing a ban on both legitimate and illegitimate movement of goods in and out of the country.

The Comptroller-General, Nigerian Customs Service, retired Col. Hameed Ali, reportedly disclosed this in Abuja during a joint press briefing on joint border patrol that is codenamed ‘EX-SWIFT RESPONSE.”

According to him, all import and export of goods from the nation’s land borders are banned until there is an agreement with neighbouring countries on the kind of goods that should enter and exit Nigeria.

While providing further details, the Customs boss stated that all goods must only enter through the legitimate air and seaports where they can undergo thorough scanning and certified fit for consumption.

According to him: “We hope that by the time we get to the end of this exercise, we would have exactly between us and our neighbours agree on the type of goods that should enter and exit our country.

“For now, all goods, whether illicit or non-illicit, are banned from going and coming into Nigeria. Let me add that for the avoidance of doubt that we included all goods because all goods can equally come through our seaports.

“For that reason, we have deemed it necessary for now that importers of such goods should go through our controlled borders where we have scanners to verify the kind of goods and how healthy to our people can be conducted.”

The Back Story: As earlier published on Nairametrics, President Muhammadu Buhari announced the partial closure of the Nigeria-Benin border on August 20th with the exercise code-named, ‘Ex-Swift Response’.

Basically, the Ex-SWIFT RESPONSE is coordinated by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) comprising the Nigerian Police Force, Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), the Nigerian Armed Forces and other security agencies to address trans-border security issues.

  • According to the President, the measure was taken to restrict the massive illegal importation of rice into Nigeria.  Meanwhile, the move to partially close the Nigeria-Benin border was a follow up to the recent policy moves by the government to completely shut out the importation of food items and smuggling.
  • Also, some experts have criticized the partial closure of the border, stressing that it would rather trigger an increase in food prices within the economy.
  • However, speaking earlier, the Comptroller-General said the operatives of the ongoing Joint Border Security had seized items worth N1.4 billion since the partial closure of borders.

The Big Picture: The reported move by the government to completely shut the border means the Federal Government has staged a full-fledged policy statement against smuggling despite concerns earlier raised in some quarters.

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Findings established in the latest Nairametrics research food price survey showed that following the sustained border, scarcity of some food items has hit the markets and Nigerians are now patronizing the locally made items like rice.

While reacting to question on whether the Federal Government had not breached the rights of the citizenry to movement and international trade with the announcement, the Customs boss disclosed that “when it comes to security, all laws take back a seat”.

“We want our nation, we want to make sure that our people are protected. You must be alive and well for you to begin to ask for your rights. Your rights come when you are well and alive.

Stanbic 728 x 90

“Go and meet the people in Maiduguri when Boko Haram was harassing their lives, the only question was survival, there is no question of right. This time Nigeria must survive first then before we begin to ask for our rights”

[READ FURTHER: Scarcity of imported rice hits major markets, as dealers pack local rice in foreign bags]

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Samuel is an Analyst with over 5 years experience. Connect with him via his twitter handle

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    Around the World

    Elon Musk loses an estimated $6bn after a Tesla car accident killed two people

    Elon Musk’s net worth dipped by $6 billion following a tragic Tesla car accident that killed two people.

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    Elon Musk, Tesla, SEC, Stock, Twitter, COVID-19: Tesla’s Elon Musk to produce ventilators as fast-spread of disease lingers

    The second richest man in the world, Elon Musk, witnessed his wealth shed an estimated $6bn after a Tesla car was involved in an accident that led to the death of two people.

    Tesla stocks dropped by 3.8% after the news of the crash went mainstream. The resultant effect on Elon Musk’s wealth was a $5.71bn loss in a single day.

    The Accident

    Two men lost their lives on Saturday night in Houston when their 2019 Tesla model car slammed into a tree. Police authorities on sight claimed the car might have been on autopilot due to the sitting position of the corpses.

    They also struggled to put out the fire from the Tesla car and even called Tesla for help. The death of the two men has sparked a heated argument between Tesla and its critics. Autopilot or not?

    Although police officers’ assertion that the car may have been on autopilot remains unconfirmed, it has raised serious uncertainty about the safety of Tesla’s autopilot feature and Tesla’s critics are not backing down on this.

    Elon Musk reacts

    Elon Musk has reacted to the news, insisting that the autopilot feature in the crashed vehicle was not enabled. According to him, the Wall Street Journal’s coverage of the accident was not professional.

     

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    What you should know

    Elon Musk is now worth $183bn following the recent drop. He closed the gap on Amazon’s Jeff Bezos to $4bn early last week. The gap has widened to $14bn today.

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    Business News

    Airbnb and two other companies that could follow Twitter’s Ghanaian playbook

    After Twitter, these companies might be moving to Africa next.

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    Twitter to update privacy policies globally , Twitter to remove tweets wishing Trump dies of COVID-19.

    On the back of Twitter’s monumental announcement to situate its regional headquarters in Ghana, Germany announced that it was choosing the Gold-Coast as the location for its German-West African Centre for Global Health and Pandemic Prevention – another critical blow for Africa’s most populous country and self-acclaimed ‘giant of Africa.’

    Despite Nigeria’s burgeoning reputation in technology, its propensity for government and regulatory interference, rising insecurity, inflation, poor capital repatriation policies, and infringement on free speech have been identified as reasons why foreign organizations are increasingly overlooking the country. So, we examine 3 organizations ripe for African expansion that could follow in Twitter’s footsteps.

    Airbnb

    The $75bn online vacation rental marketplace has quietly made inroads into Africa over the last couple of years allowing listings from Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, and other African countries as part of the 220+ countries and regions it operates.

    Over the past few years, destinations across Africa have emerged to become some of the fastest-growing Airbnb markets in the world.

    However, the rental giant continues to operate a remote presence in Africa as none of its 23 offices is situated on the continent. But that may soon change as Africans increasingly adopt the service.

    Apple

    Despite iPhone sales largely growing year on year, Apple doesn’t have a physical office in Africa. In 2015, it was rumoured that Apple was looking to establish a South African office in an effort to grow its presence in the continent’s local market but not much has been heard about this.

    In countries where the tech giant doesn’t have a physical office, Apple works with the local resellers to service its numerous customers.

    The African market is driven more by the demand for Apple products like mobile phones, tablets, and laptops. With this high demand, it is highly probable that the company will consider a physical location in Africa in the near future.

    Shopify

    Another company that is likely to have a physical presence in Africa in the near future is Shopify. The multinational e-commerce platform that allows you to host your store online already has an online presence in Africa and has partnered with leading payment providers on the continent to allow users pay for services in their local currency. Shopify powers over 1.7 million businesses in more than 175 countries.

    What this means

    Africa currently has the youngest and second-largest population in the world. Massive population growth and a rising middle class have created millions of new consumers hungry for products and services. This is a large market for tech companies that are already operational in other countries to tap into. Currently, Twitter, Google, Microsoft, and several others are already exploring this opportunity.

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