Customs Halts Another Shipment of Grains to Niger Republic in Kebbi

by Ohepo Ohepo

The Zone ‘B’ Federal Operations Unit of the Nigeria Customs Service has recently intercepted two trucks destined for Niger Republic, loaded with grains. This operation is part of a series of interceptions over the last few days, involving grain-laden trucks heading to Niger Republic from various states including Katsina, Sokoto, Kano, and Jigawa.

According to intelligence reports obtained by PREMIUM TIMES, the interception occurred around 1 p.m. near Kebbi and Kangiwa/Argungu Natsini by a Customs roving team. The seized trucks were found to be carrying essential grains such as maize, millet, and beans.

In a further effort to enforce border control, the FOU Zone ‘B’ in Kaduna has increased its officer deployment across its jurisdiction, with a strict mandate to prevent any goods or individuals from crossing the border until further notice from the federal government. This directive was outlined in a memo approved by Wasa Chedi, the Zonal Comptroller, emphasizing the importance of compliance and holding officers accountable for any breaches.

These measures come in the wake of Nigeria’s response to the 2023 coup in Niger Republic, which led to the closure of the land border between the two countries and a suspension of electricity supply as sanctions against the military junta. Security measures have been heightened along and around the border areas, particularly in the northern states that share an extensive boundary with Niger Republic.

The backdrop of these stringent border controls is Nigeria’s struggle with inflation and economic hardship, which have been intensified by last year’s removal of fuel subsidies and the devaluation of the naira. The soaring prices of foodstuff and other commodities have further strained the country’s economy.

The Nigeria Customs Service has expressed its commitment to bolstering surveillance efforts to curb the outflow of grains from Nigeria, which is seen as exacerbating the economic challenges. Recent operations have seen significant interceptions of grain trucks in Sokoto, Zamfara, and Kano states, highlighting the ongoing efforts to mitigate the impact on the nation’s food supply and economy.

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