President Muhammadu Buhari has extended the closure of all the country’s land borders to January 31, 2020.
The approval was made known by Victor Dimka, Deputy Comptroller of Customs in charge of Enforcement, Investigation and Inspectorate, in a memo dated 1 November to the Customs Sector Coordinators.
The land borders were closed in September in order to enable all the security agencies jointly conduct an operation code-named operation “Exercise Swift Response”, which the Federal Government said is meant to curb smuggling.
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According to the memo with reference number NCS/ENF/ABJ/221/S.45, and designated as “Restricted”, the extension was granted because “a few strategic objectives” were yet to be achieved despite the reduction of smuggling since the operation began.
The document also stated that the payment of all relevant allowances to the operatives, as well as logistics, would be sorted as soon as possible.
The memo partly read; “I am directed to inform you that it is observed that despite the overwhelming success of the operation, particularly the security and economic benefits to the nation, a few strategic objectives are you to be achieved.
“Against this background, Mr President has approved the extension of the exercise to January 31, 2020.
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“Consequently, you are requested to convey the development to all personnel for their awareness and guidance.
“Meanwhile, allowance for personnel sustenance and fuelling of vehicles for the period of extension will be paid as soon as possible.
“This is for your information and necessary action, please.”