By: Joy Enamuna
Following the recent overthrow of a Democratically elected government in Niger Republic, which prompted the Nigerian Government to shut down the Nigeria-Niger borders, the Acting Comptroller-General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi MFR, has re-echoed President Tinubu’s cardinal reason for taking the measure, saying that the exercise was not meant to infuse hardship on Nigerians.
The CGC, who was on a working visit to Illela Border Station on Friday morning to monitor and assess the implementation of the exercise, expressed delight with the level of compliance by the residents.
According to him, the measure was a decision taken by ECOWAS, which the Nigerian President chairs, adding that “we are optimistic that this effort will yield positive results, and I must tell you that President Tinubu is committed to restoring peace in this axis.”
He also said that the exercise would secure Nigeria’s Democracy and social stability, considering the current state of uncertainty in the neighbouring Niger Republic.
Responding to questions from newsmen as to whether the exercise will affect Customs’ mandate of generating revenue, the CGC said the Service is aware of the situation – and has already taken proactive measures to address it strategically.
He reiterated that the administration of President Ahmad Bola Tinubu is committed to protecting the well-being of the citizens and their businesses, saying that “I have the optimism that borders will soon be opened and businesses of Nigerians will continue to thrive.”
He said, “President Tinubu, as a champion of the region, has measure responsibility to promote trade, and we are all aware that trade can’t be achieved where there’s no peace. However, considering what’s happening in Niger, which affects the political stability of the sovereign nation, my mission here is to restate the directive of President Tinubu as the ECOWAS Chairman.”
Similarly, the Comptroller-General had also engaged traditional rulers and other stakeholders at the Illela border.
Chairman Association of Customs License Agents, Alhaji Aminu Dan-Iya, who spoke on behalf of the stakeholders, consoled residents around the affected area and the entire stakeholders to understand the situation, stressing that “the decision was for our benefit, thus no need to panic.”
In another development, the CGC also paid a courtesy visit to Sarkin Gobir of Gwadabawa, Alhaji Lawali Muhammad Zayyana, to seek his support towards achieving the mandates of the service.
Addressing the Emir, the CGC told him that “today, with our delegation, we are embarking on a journey to Illela Border Station to inspect and monitor the level of compliance of President Tinubu’s order of closing borders and to also interact with the members of the border community.”
While appreciating the traditional ruler for his sustained support to the Service, the CGC also commended his passion towards promoting good cordial relationships between the community and the operatives of the Service.
Responding, the Sarkin Gobir of Gwadabawa, Alhaji Zayyana, welcomed the CGC and his entourage while also taking him through the history of the Palace.
He felicitated with the CGC on his appointment and assured him of his Palace’s unwavering support to ensure he spent a hitch-free tenure.
“Having disputes could sometimes be seen as natural, but I wish to give assurance of my support to win over the residents of this Emirate.” He concluded.