- Minister of information and culture, Lai Mohammed, said Nigeria's closure of its land borders will continue as long as it is necessary
- The information minister said the neighbouring countries have not shown any readiness to comply with ECOWAS protocols
- Mohammed said the Benin Republic and Niger Republic's refusal to comply with ECOWAS protocol is jeopardising Nigeria’s economy and security
The federal government says Nigeria's neighbour, the Republic of Benin, has not shown any remorse after its illegal trading forced the country to close its land borders.
Nigeria's minister of information and culture, Lai Mohammed, made the accusation when he featured on a TV Continental live Programme, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
The Benin Republic was accused by the Nigerian government of importing prohibited goods which are being dumped into Nigeria’s market.
Mohammed said the number of seizures being recorded despite the border closure shows that the neighbouring country is unrepentant and not ready to abide by Nigeria's trade requirement which is also in accordance with the ECOWAS regulations.
“Regrettably, the signs out there are not positive in the sense that in the last few weeks the amount of seizures that have been made do not show that our neighbours are in a hurry to comply with Nigeria,” he said.
The information minister said Nigeria closed its borders to preserve the local economy and the borders will remain closed as long as necessary.
He said Nigeria will no longer play Africa's big brother at the expense of its economy and national security.
Mohammed admitted that the border closure will bring some discomfort. He, however, said the discomfort will only be for a temporary period.
He emphasised that the Benin Republic and Niger Republic's refusal to comply with ECOWAS protocol is jeopardising Nigeria’s economy and security
Mohammed also defended the government's decision to stop supplying petrol to filling stations less than 20km away from the borders, saying the measure was to curb the high level of smuggling of the product to neighbouring countries.
Earlier, Legit.ng reported that ECOWAS parliament allegedly backed Nigeria’s decision to close its land borders in a bid to curb smuggling and other forms of illegal trade being done by neighbouring countries.
Ahmed Wase, who is the first deputy speaker of the ECOWAS parliament, said ECOWAS has adopted Nigeria’s position on the border closure.
The development was made known by Sadiq Ibrahim, who presented Nigeria’s country report on behalf of Wase, during the second ordinary session of ECOWAS Parliament on Wednesday, November 27.
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