INTERNATIONAL – Nigeria has closed its land borders to all movement of goods and has no timeline for reopening them, the head of the nation’s customs agency said, as part of an effort to curb smuggling.
“All goods for now are banned from being exported or imported through our land borders and that is to ensure we have total control over what comes in,” Hameed Ali, comptroller-general of the Nigerian Customs Service, told reporters in Abuja on Monday.
Africa’s largest economy launched a partial border closure in August as part of an effort to thwart smuggling of rice and other goods, and there had been widespread local media reports of a broader closure.
But Ali’s announcement was the first official confirmation of a total shutdown in trade across Nigeria’s land borders - including goods that had been moving legally.
“We are strategising on how best the goods can be handled when we eventually get to the point where this operation will relax for the influx of goods,” he said. He did not give a timeline for any relaxation of the controls.