Border Closure Causing Deaths, Promotes Poverty, Says Amiwero

... As NCMDLCA Completes 3 Month Training for Licensed Customs Agents

President of the National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents(NCMDLCA) Lucky Amiwero has described the federal government decision of border closure in some parts of Nigeria as a bad decision that has resulted in deaths of people and destruction of small legitimate businesses.

Speaking after the closing ceremony of a three month capacity training programme for officials and members of the NCMDLCA in Lagos organised by Eyis Resources Limited, Amiwero said the recent border closure between Nigeria and Niger was not necessary

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According to him, poor Nigerians, who share family and historical relationship with the people of Niger Republic are being made to suffer unnecessarily as the call by ECOWAS to severe tie with the West African country could have been better managed without making the people to suffer.

The ace licensed customs agent who served as a member of the Presidential Committee on Customs Reform faulted the former Comptroller General of Customs, for being behind the first round of border closure that opened the nation’s economy to avoidable risks

He said “ECOWAS trade is a trade that actually increase the relationship between a country and another in terms of originating products coming from a country to another country.Within that time of closure, we have closed down a lot of channels.It is the worst decision taken by the government

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He said “I wrote the government and said what they were doing is wrong.We don’t close border because we want to increase rice production.Let us ask ourselves ,what is the effect of closure of borders? It created almost 40 percent poverty.A lot of people lost their lives and a lot of things happened.Nigeria should not be led like a blind country .

He advised government to retrace it’s steps on border closure with Niger for the sake of the people who trade along the route and the national economy. While comparing the United States of America that shares border with Canada and Mexico with Nigeria, Amiwero advised more procedural and diplomatic approach that puts citizens interest into consideration.

“Have you seen America closing their borders to Canada or Mexico? Even with all the influx, you still see them manage their borders because it is an international agreement.We have ECOWAS treaty and we don’t even look at the treaty before taking decisions.

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Our government shouldn’t have closed the border with Niger.A coup has nothing to do with border closure . It is the worst decision.
If we are not very careful, ECOWAS will collapse because those people are well organized.It is not a coup against Nigeria.They should have managed it without closing the border because most of the Nigeriens you see are Nigerians.

Most of the Nigerians from border states with Niger are Nigeriens too.We are one people. We have found out that that closure is affecting the inflow of the traditional trading outlet between Nigeria and Niger.Again, there is a lot of problem as these people have closed that channel and moved to another channel and they are moving.Do you see them complaining? They are gradually forgetting about us and seeking other ways to promote their economic survival. ” he said.

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On the training of NCMDLCA members, Amiwero said the training became imperative considering the evolving dynamics of the maritime industry and the need to keep members abreast with the new laws that affect their operation.

He described knowledge of port processes and procedures as an invaluable tool that guides all players in the international trade circle.

The training modules featured topics on the Nigeria Customs Service Act, 2023 with relation to World Trade Organisation(WTO), World Customs Organisation(WCO) and the United Nations Confethe rence on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)

The course content covered 47 areas of international trade extensively dissecting critical areas like blue economy, advance ruling, authorised economic operator (AEO), special economic zones among others.

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