…Border closure exposes inefficiency of Nigerian Customs Service.
BY OBUTE JAMES
The Chairman, House Committee on Ethics and Privileges, Hon. Kolawole Lawal has described the condition of Nigerians at Idiroko border as pathetic as there is no electrify supply from DISCO while filling stations were shot down.
Speaking to THE LEGISLATURE in an interview, Lawal who is representing Egbado South/Ipokia Federal Constituency of Ogun State said his constituents living around Nigeria-Benin Republic border were deprived of many things contrary to section 40 of Nigerian Constitution.
“For the last five years, there is not light in these communities around the border. I have written to Federal Ministry of power and other relevant organizations over this incident.
“The government had also recently shut down filling stations around the areas. There are people who are carrying out their legitimate business that need electricity supply. Some time they have to go to neighbouring communities to get fuel in order to power their generators but the security agents will subject them to all sorts of intimidation and harassment and some time seized the fuel from them. We have artisans and other people who need electricity supply to their business.
“Is it an offence to live around the border as Nigerians,” Lawal lamented.
He said that most of the Nigerian borders are terrible without good roads and other infrastructure.
Responding to question on border closure, Hon. Kolawole Lawal said “Yes it is good as farmers can grow crops and sell them. But this is temporary gains.”
He said there are about 51 road blocks mounted at the Nigeria-Benin border and wonder why the NCS lack the capacity to properly check what is being brought to the country.
“I think this border closure has exposed the inefficiency of the Nigerian Custom Service. If they are incompetent to do their work, let them be sacked. With 51 road block within a short distance at the land border and NCS service cannot be able to prevent goods that are banned from entering the country, I think they need to be sacked for their inefficiency.
Speaking on his motion he presented recently at the floor of House of Representatives which was adopted, Lawal said Nigerian land borders should be good enough to present what the country represent to those coming to the country.
In a motion title: “Call to rehabilitate and reconstruct the Idiroko land border in Ogun State,” Lawal pointed out that continued neglect of Idiroko border town is having adverse effects on the revenue generation efforts of the Federal Government.”
He said “On July 10, 2019, the Comptroller of Nigerian Custom Service, Ogun State Command disclosed that the command recorded a half-year revenue of N6.7 billion, which is over N2.5 billipn in excess of its targeted revenue of N3.874 billion, a record-breaking feat that was achieved in the border at Egbado South/Ipokia Federal Constituency of Ogun State.”
The House in its resolution urged the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) to as matter of urgency undertake extensive rehabilitation of roads in Idiroko official land border,
“Urge the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing to include funds in 2020 budget estimates for the reconstruction of roads in Idiroko border town,
“Urge Border Communities Development Agency (BCDA) to liase with security agencies domiciled around the border area with a view to providing necessary security.
“Mandated the Committee on Works, Housing, FERMA and Special Duties to ensure compliance.”