Sokoto community excited as Customs reopen Niger border

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customsThere was jubilation, on Thursday, in the Illela border community of Sokoto State as the Nigerian Customs Service, Sokoto State Command, on Thursday, reopened the land border between Nigerian and Niger Republic in the Illela Local Government Area.

The Federal Government had on Wednesday ordered the reopening of all Nigerian borders with Niger Republic and also restored electricity to the neighbouring country.

The decision followed the lifting of the ban imposed on Niger Republic by the Economic Community of West African States following the takeover of power by the military in the country.

In a statement on Thursday, the spokesman for the Sokoto State Customs Command, Abdullahi Tsafe Abubakar, said the Comptroller of Customs, Sokoto/Zamfara command, Kamal Muhammed, announced the official reopening of the border.

“Sequel to the lift of sanctions on Niger Republic by ECOWAS and the subsequent directive by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on the reopening of land and air borders with Niger Republic and lifting of other sanctions against the country with immediate effect, the Customs Area Controller, Comptroller Kamal Muhammed announced the official opening of Illela border for free movement of people and commercial activities in compliance to the directive.

“The Comptroller charged MDAs and security agencies at the border station to give maximum collaboration to each other in the area of trade facilitation, information and intelligence sharing for a safe, efficient and effective service delivery at the border.

“He further stated that the Comptroller General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, commended the Customs licence agents and the Illela community for their patience and cooperation during the seven-month border closure.”

Meanwhile, the  Comptroller-General of Immigration, Kemi Nandap, also on Thursday, directed all personnel deployed to the Nigeria-Niger border to resume work.

Nandap gave the directive in a statement signed by the acting Service Public Relations Officer, Mr Kenneth Kure, on Thursday in Abuja.

Also, President Tinubu, on Thursday,  approved the appointment of Dr. Dakorinama George as the Director-General of the Border Communities Development Agency.

George’s appointment was announced in a statement signed by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, titled, ‘President Tinubu appoints Director-General of Border Communities Development Agency.’

George, a former commissioner for works in Rivers State, holds a PhD in Construction Management; an MSc in Quantity Surveying and Construction Engineering, and a B.Tech in Quantity Surveying.

He is a fellow of the Certified Institute of Practising Professionals, USA; a fellow of the Association of Strategy Professionals, USA, among other notable associations.

The President said he expected the new Director-General to “discharge his duties with integrity, diligence, and dedication for the effective administration of the agency, and management of critical policies and programmes in line with the objectives of the Renewed Hope Agenda for border communities development.”

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