By Rasaki Raji, Badagry
Mr Patrick Ozobialu, Administrator, Customs Brokers, has urged the Federal Government to allow passage of over 500 articulated vehicles loaded with legitimate goods but stranded on the border post in the wake of the border closure.
Mr. Patrick Ozobialu gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Friday.
Ozobialu, who is also former Chairman, Association of Licensed Customs Agents of Nigeria, said that owners of the goods had paid their lawful duties before the restriction of goods in and out of the country.
He said that the vehicles were loaded with perishable items, adding that most of the items had spoiled after being stranded at Seme border post for 31 days.
“We have over 500 articulated vehicles of goods parked at the border post now for the past 31 days as a result of restrictions on the movement of goods in and out of the country.
- ECOWAS parliament calls for reversal of Nigeria’s borders closure
- Group hails Buhari for sustaining the amnesty programme in Niger Delta
“These vehicles have paid their lawful duties before the government announced the restrictions. Some of these goods are perishable and importers that brought them in have paid their lawful duties.
“We are begging the government to allow the importers to clear the items because we don’t know why they decide to punish us this way.
“Some of the importers borrowed money from banks to finance the business.
“Now most of what they have used their life to make is at risk because of the non-clearance of the trucks,” he said.
He also urged the government to consider the plight of the importers of the stranded items and allow them to be cleared into the country.
According to him such will not affect the restriction policy.
The administrator, however, commended the government for the restriction policy, noting that it bothered the nation’s security and self-reliance in food production.
NAN reports that the joint-border security exercise, code-named ‘Ex-Swift Response’, was ordered by the Federal Government and aimed at securing Nigeria’s land and maritime borders.
The exercise commenced on Aug. 19 and was being jointly conducted by the customs, immigration, police and military personnel and coordinated by the Office of the National Security Adviser