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One Year After , Nigeria ’s Border Remains Closed

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images 1 One Year After , Nigeria ’s Border Remains Closed

TODAY marks one-year anniversary of the closure of Nigeria’s land borders to neighbouring African countries. The Federal Government said the closure was aimed at tackling proliferation of arms, smuggling and other illicit trans-border activities.
The government over the period insisted that closing the borders, under the codename: “Ex Swift Response” has been more of a blessing to the country. Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed said that the closed border has drastically reduced incidents of cattle rustling, kidnapping, armed banditry and other forms of insecurity in the North-West.
“The drill has drastically curtailed the inflow of arms and ammunition. Bandits and terrorists are finding it hard to procure arms and ammunition, hence we have recorded a reduction in cases of cattle rustling, kidnapping and armed banditry, which were predominant in the North-West Region,” Mohammed said, while leading a Federal Government’s delegation on a visit to Sector Four (North-West) of the Border Drill, last December.
He added that the smuggling of petroleum products, which had also been prominent through the borders in the North-West, had been curtailed due to the closure of filling stations along the border. “There are hundreds of filling stations along the border. We counted many as we drove to the border this morning. They were set up purposely for smuggling. They don’t sell the fuel consignment they receive to the public, 50 per cent of them are owned by foreigners. Now that they are closed, we have recorded over 30 per cent reduction in domestic fuel consumption,” Mohammed said.
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has also claimed huge success from the border closure, announcing daily revenue of N7 billion as against previous N4.5 billion daily revenue. NCS Comptroller General, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd) has equally expressed satisfaction with the exercise.
“When we closed the border, my fear was that our revenue was going to drop. To be honest, our revenue kept increasing. There was a day in September that we collected N9.2 billion in one day. It has never happened before. This is after the closure of the border and since then, we have maintained an average of about N4.7 billion to N5.8 billion on a daily basis, which is far more than we used to collect.
“What we have discovered is that most of those cargoes that used to go to Benin (Republic) and are then smuggled into Nigeria now come to us. 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 (border closure) would continue, to us, it is a welcome situation. Our revenue has not reduced. As a matter of fact, it is increasing as a result of the closure of the border. About 10.2million litres of fuel have been cut down from what we assume, we have been consuming,” Ali said.
Yet, commendations have continued to trail the closure. For instance, the President of National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA), Mr. Lucky Amiwero, is of the opinion that while the border closure is against international treaties and protocols Nigeria entered into willingly, but the action has so far proved to be the most potent approach to tackling the several years of massive smuggling of goods from Nigeria’s neighbouring countries into Nigeria and smuggling of Nigerian fuel to those countries.
Amiwero, who noted that smuggling has been a major challenge to the Nigerian economy, submits that: “if this operation is sustained till at least the end of the year, the Nigerian economy will feel the impact in a very positive way while the West African countries which over the years depended on allowing their countries to be smuggling routes in and out Nigeria will be forced to re-strategise on ways to ensure the survival of their economies,” he said.

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Nigeria At 60 : We Have Cracks That May Break Us – Osinbajo

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images 2020 09 28T100530.964 Nigeria At 60 : We Have Cracks That May Break Us - Osinbajo

The Vice Pesident, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has said that Nigeria could be heading for a break up if urgent actions are not taken, collectively, to address the identified cracks that could quicken such break-up.
Osinbajo said on Sunday in Abuja at the 60th Independence Anniversary interdenominational church service held at National Ecumenical Centre, themed “Come, let us rebuild…” that, though, the task of mending the cracks could face severe opposition, it can only be achieved by consistent focus and prayers by Nigerians who desire more peaceful and prosperous nation.
The Vice President, who was represented by the Secretary to Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, made reference to the story of Nehemiah in the Bible, and his role in rebuilding the broken-down walls of Jerusalem.
The Vice President urged Nigerians to study the story of Nehemiah and replicate same in Nigeria for a better country.
“The story should be a challenge to every Christian in Nigeria who is desirous of following the part of Christian way of life. It is only that kind of Nehemiah’s love that will make us as Nigerians to rebuild the cracks we have in our walls (Nigeria) today.
“For us in Nigeria, Nehemiah should be taken as a metaphor for that Nigerians who either reside in Nigeria or outside, to cry to God to use the abandoned opportunities in Nigeria to address our challenges of nation building.
“Fortunately for us, our walls are not yet broken but there are obvious cracks that could lead to break if not properly addressed. Nehemiah started with fervent prayers, seeking the Face of God and pleaded with his king to allow him return to Jerusalem to rebuild the broken walls. Because wall signifies peace, security, contentment and prosperity. It signifies the essence of the state of the nation.
“There’s urgent need for Nehemiah in our country, Nigeria, today. And like Nehemiah faced opposition in his efforts to rebuild the walls, any Nigerian that desire to rebuild Nigeria must also be ready to face stiffer opposition which will come in torrents. It can only be diffused by consistent focus and prayers,” Osinbajo said.
He, however, expressed optimism that the 60th independence anniversary could herald a rebirth of Nigerian as a nation, and that no group is more prepared for this task than the religious bodies.
He, therefore charged the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to provide quality leadership to its faithful and guide them in making Nigeria a great country that it has been destined to be.
On his part, the CAN President, Dr. Samson Ayokunle, stressed the need for justice which, he said, will birth peace, tolerance and love.
“A nation that is religiously plural like ours require love in practice so as to co-exist without fighting one another. What is sane in using the name of God or hide under the cloak of religion to kill a fellow human? If God wants all of us to be of one ethnicity, race or religion doesn’t he have the power to do it? Why do we want to play God and wickedly terminate the lives of others in account of religion?
“Nigeria is blessed with abundant human and material resources located in different parts of this country. This underscores the indispensability of all the regions and ethnic groups. For us all to be on the same page, have sense of belonging and be happy, the doctrine of equality, that is equal access to employment, governance and education, must be available to all.
“We need true religiosity in Nigeria to reposition Nigeria and overcome our corrupt way of living which has almost become the norm to our shame. The principle of inclusivity must be adopted. Nobody or region must be excluded from the scheme of things in Nigeria,” Ayokunle said.

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“Who Is IPOB To Tell People To Sit At Home ?” – Umahi Fires At Kanu

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“Who Is IPOB To Tell People To Sit At Home?” – Umahi Blows Hot, Fires Nnamdi Kanu
The Ebonyi State Government under the leadership of Governor David Nweze Umahi, on Saturday, lambasted the Indigenous People Of Biafra and its leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu over call to sit-at-home on 1st October, 2020.
Speaking in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State capital, the
Commissioner for Internal Security and Border Peace, Stanley Emegha urged people of the state to ignore the directive by the Indigenous People of Biafra, and go about their normal activities on October 1.
According to the state government, IPOB lacked the capacity to tell anyone to sit at home.
He said, “Who is IPOB to tell people to sit at home. That is the height of craziness on their side. They talk to people as if they are things.
“How can you tell people who have a family to sit at home, to do what? Will you come and put food on their table?
“In the first place, we don’t even know if there is anything like IPOB existing in the state. People should disregard the said statement and go about their normal businesses on that day.
He said the proscribed group did not have the right to tell people to sit at home.
“People have fundamental human rights of movement, if you try to restrict their rights to move about and transact their lawful business activities you are crossing the red line.
“If anyone tries to force people to sit at home, the Police will not fail to deal decisively with such persons.”
IPOB, had in a statement, ordered Biafran agitators and the Igbo to stay at home, on October 1.

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Bashir Ahmad Denies Using Presidential Jet For His Wedding

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Bashir Ahmad, the personal assistant on new media to President Muhammadu Buhari has reacted to claims of him using one of the presidential jet for his wedding.
Mr Ahmad was pictured standing with some persons at the Umaru Musa Yaradua airport in Katsina with the aircraft as it’s background.
This drew criticism to his principal whose daughter, Hanan, had earlier in the year, flew one of the aircrafts in the presidential fleet for her private study.
Dismissing the claim that he flew the Nigeria Airforce Carrier for his wedding, the presidential aide said the jet had the president’s representatives as occupants.
He explained that he travelled by road and will again use the medium when returning to his base at the nation’s capital.
“Bashir Ahmad and his friends traveled to Katsina on Thursday by road, proceeded to Kano after the wedding on Friday and they will leave Kano for Abuja by road after the events,” Mr Ahmad said in a Saturday tweet.
“This was when I led my friends to receive President @MBuhari’s representatives at the airport,” he clarified.

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