The Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) has announced a ban on the importation and exportation of all goods through the various land borders in the country.
Hameed Ali, Comptroller-general of NCS, made the announcement at a press conference in Abuja on Monday.
According to Ali, the ban will ensure that all goods coming into the country from other controlled borders such as the seaports and the airports are properly scrutinised.
He added that the regulation will also help Nigeria impress on its neighbours the kind of goods that can either be imported or exported.
He said: “We hope that by the time we get to the end of this exercise, we would have agreed with our neighbours on the type of goods that should enter and exit our country.”
“For now, all goods, whether illicit or non-illicit, are banned from going and coming into Nigeria.
“Let me add that for the avoidance of doubt that we included all goods because all goods can equally come through our seaports.
“For that reason, we have deemed it necessary for now that importers of such goods should go through our controlled boarders where we have scanners to verify the kind of goods and how healthy to our people can be conducted.”
Asked if the prohibition does not violate the right of movement for citizens and international trade, the NCS Comptroller General said the country’s security interest remains paramount over established laws.
He said: “When it comes to security, all laws take back a seat.
“We want to our nation, we want make sure that our people are protected. You must be alive and well for you to begin to ask for your rights. Your rights come when you are well and alive.
“Go and the people in Maiduguri when Boko Haram was harassing their lives, the only question was survival, there is no question of right. This time Nigeria must survive first then before we begin to ask for our rights.”