The Controller of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Ogun 1 Area Command, Bamidele Makinde, on Tuesday, cleared the air over the reopening of the Idiroko border in Ogun State.
Makinde said the border had been reopened since last year, contrary to a viral video which showed some residents of Idiroko jubilating over the border reopening.
Ex-President Muhammadu Buhari had in August 2019, shut all land borders as part of efforts to curtail smuggling and boost local production of rice.
In 2020, Buhari ordered the reopening of borders in Seme in Lagos, Illela in Sokoto, Maigatari in Jigawa, and Mfum in Cross River.
And in April, 2022, Buhari also ordered reopening of four more borders including Idiroko in Ogun, Jibiya in Katsina, Kamba in Kebbi and Ikom in Cross River.
However, a 21-second video showing some Customs operatives performing symbolic reopening of Idiroko border amid jubilation, went viral on Monday.
Reacting during a press briefing with newsmen in Abeokuta, Makinde said Idiroko border had since been reopened, contrary to what the viral clip suggested.
He said Idiroko border had been reopened alongside Jibiya in Katsina, Kamba in Kebbi and Ikom in Cross River.
Makinde, however, said other land borders in the state like Imeko, Ohumbe, Ijofin and Ijoun remain shut.
He said “In Ogun State, as we speak today we have more than six approved borders, Imeko, Ijofin, Ijoun, Ohunbe, we have six of them. It is only Idiroko that is opened now, the others are still under lock.
“Now, we have a new administration and we are just public servants, we implement policies whatever Abuja says we do.
“So, Idiroko is open 24/7, but the others, we don’t have powers to open them. If you do business in those borders, we will seize your goods.”
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