By  Njideka Ude-Arinze

Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has reiterated the need for closure of Nigeria’s number one border outpost with Benin Republic, Cotonou border.

Speaking during the 2017 Annual General Meeting of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria in Lagos, the Comptroller General, NCS Col. Hameed Ali (Retd.) recalled that the closure of the border was done in 2013 during the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo when the spate of cross-border crimes such as smuggling, armed robbery and human trafficking, became unbearable.

He said it might be necessary to close the border because the NCS was finding it increasingly challenging to man the area due to the wiles of smugglers and the impact their activities was having on the economy and the growth of local industries.

Corroborating, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh said Federal Government will be compelled to take a drastic measure following inappropriateness in the border

According to him, the situation has rubbished efforts of the present administration in diversifying the economy through agriculture.

“If that border will be a threat to the survival of Nigeria, we may decide to take a very drastic action,” Ogbeh had reportedly stated.