The Nigerian Customs have released the seized relief materials meant for Nigerian refugees residing in the Niger Republic.
SaharaReporters had reported how the customs seized the relief materials meant for Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) in the country and also enforced tax which Nigeria ought to have enjoyed a waiver.
However, the relief materials have now been released, according to a News Agency of Nigeria’s report.
The items were released after National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) officials had paid 120,000 CF which is equivalent to about N66,000 to a private clearing agent to obtain another transit permit.
It was reported that the trucks left Nigeria through Illela border on their way to the beneficiaries who were victims of banditry attacks in Sabon Birni and Isa Local Government Areas of Sokoto State.
The victims relocated to Gidan Runji community in Maradi state, Niger after the attacks.
The agency correspondent who was part of the mission reports that relevant authorization from Niger Republic Ministry of Foreign Affairs were duly obtained by Nigerian Consulate before the trucks left Nigeria.
The Nigerian Douanes in Konni, however, insisted that original waiver documents on the goods should be provided as NEMA officials only had photocopies of the papers.
When an official the of Nigerian Consulate showed up with the documents on Tuesday morning, the Douanes insisted that transit permission should also be presented.
The consular official, John Usman, along with NEMA Head of Operation in Sokoto, Kofoworola Soleye, and an official of Sokoto State Emergency Management Agency, Bashir Sokoto, had to consult the Chairman of Konni district and presented the waiver permit documents.
In spite of the chairman’s intervention, the Nigerien officials directed officials to obtain the private transit permit before the release and also attached a security officer to escort the goods.
SaharaReporters, New York