- The federal government may not be opening Nigeria's land borders to neighbouring nations like Benin and Niger anytime soon
- This is as the minister of information and culture, Lai Mohammed, has said that both countries are yet to address issues that led to the border closure
- Mohammed said that just recently, security agents have seized illegal goods from the nations worth not less than N3.5 billion
The federal government has explained why it will not be opening its land borders to neighbouring countries like Niger and Benin for now.
Lai Mohammed, the minister of information and culture, who recently led a delegation to Seme, said that going by massive seizure of illegal goods made by security agents, both West African nations seem unwilling to address the circumstances that led to the border closure.
The minister said that one of the rules laid down by the Economic Community of West African State (ECOWAS) was that "when a transit container berths at a seaport, the receiving country is mandated to escort same without tampering with the seal to the border of the destination country."
However, Mohammed pointed out that neighbouring countries break the seals of containers at their ports and trans-load goods destined for Nigeria.
He revealed that the estimated financial value of recently seized goods is nothing less than N3.5 billion, adding that the smuggling of arms and ammunition into the country has drastically reduced since the border closure.
Mohammed said: “As we speak, we have ships loaded with rice waiting to be discharged (in Benin) and the target market is Nigeria (for Christmas).
"We have MV Africana Jacana with 40,000 metric tons of rice, MV Zilos with 20,000 mts and MV Sam Jarguar with 45,000 MTS and others."
Meanwhile, Legit.ng reported that the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, had said that the nation’s land borders would remain closed until neighbouring countries meet the requirements for it to be reopened.
Emefiele said this on Monday, October 28, while speaking to journalists after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja.
Border closure: Nigerians now prefer eba to rice – traders lament | Legit TV