We Have Made More Money After Border Closure, Says Customs Boss.

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Ali said Customs has made more money since the borders were closed by the Buhari government in August.

Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Hameed Ali, has disclosed that the recent closure of Nigeria’s land borders with neighbouring countries has improved revenue generation.

Nigeria partially closed its borders with neighbouring countries in August, an action President Muhammadu Buhari blamed on the activities of smugglers.

Ali said his agency has benefited from the closure when he addressed a joint National Assembly committee on finance working on the 2020-2022 medium-term expenditure framework and fiscal strategy paper on Wednesday, October 2, 2019, according to TheCable.

The retired Nigerian Army Colonel said contrary to his initial fears of a revenue drop, Customs has maintained an average of about N4.7 billion to N5.8 billion on a daily basis, more than the agency used to generate before the closure.

He said a record N9.2 billion was generated in one day in September, a situation the Customs boss said is welcome.

He said, “What we have discovered is that most of those cargoes that used to go to Benin (Republic), shipped to Benin, and then discharged and smuggled into Nigeria, now that we have closed the border they are forced to bring their goods to either Apapa or Tin Can Island and we have to collect duty on them.

“If that would continue to us it is a welcome situation. As a matter of fact, to answer your question, our revenue has not reduced, it is increasing as a result of closing the border.”

Ali further noted that the border closure has also stemmed the smuggling of petroleum products to neighbouring countries.

The Customs boss had announced in September that there is no specific time for reopening the borders, an operation being coordinated by many security agencies.

He said the borders will remain closed until neighbouring countries agree on existing ECOWAS protocol on movement.