Relief materials meant for Nigerian refugees in Niger Republic, had on Monday been seized by the Nigeriens Douanes (Customs) stationed at Konni border but were released at about 8:30 p.m on Tuesday.
The six trucks being conveyed to the refugees by officials of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), were heading to the refugees camp at Gidan Runji, Maradi State, when they were impounded.
The materials which left Nigeria through Illela border were meant for the beneficiaries who were victims of banditry attacks in Sabon Birni and Isa local government areas of Sokoto state.
A NAN correspondent, who is part of the mission, reported that relevant authorisation from Niger Republic Ministry of Foreign Affairs were duly obtained by Nigerian Consulate before the trucks left Nigeria.
The Nigerien 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, Mr John Usman, along with NEMA Head of Operation in Sokoto, Mr Kofoworola Soleye and an official of Sokoto State Emergency Management Agency, Mr Bashir Sokoto later consulted the Chairman of Konni district and presented the waiver permit documents.
In spite of Chairman’s intervention, the Douanes officials directed NEMA to pay 100,000 CF which is equivalent to about N60,000 to a private clearing agent to obtain another transit permit.
The items are now released, after NEMA officials had paid 120,000 CF which is equivalent to about N66, 000 to a private clearing agent to obtain another transit permit.