President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday approved the immediate reopening of four major Nigerian land borders, after being shut for over a year.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning Minister, Zainab Ahmed, disclosed this after a Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting on Wednesday, December 16, 2020.
According to her, borders opened for now include Seme in the South-west part of the country, Ilela in the North-west part of the country, Maitagari in the North-west part of the country and Mfun in the South-south part of the country.
Mrs Ahmed noted that the remaining boarders will be reopened before 31st of December, adding that the ban on importation of rice, poultry and other banned products still subsists and will be implemented by border patrol team.
“I am here to just report that His Excellency, the President, approved the recommendations of the committee that I chaired with the Minister of Trade and Investment as member, Minister of Interior as member, Minister of Foreign Affairs as member, National Security Adviser as member and Comptroller General of Customs,” she said.
“This committee was mandated to review and advise on the reopening of the Nigerian borders and after recommendations, the president approved the reopening of four land borders, namely: Seme in the South-west part of the country, Ilela in the North-west part of the country, Maitagari in the North-west part of the country and Mfun in the South-south part of the country.
“So, these four land land borders will be reopened immediately while the remaining borders are directed to be reopened on or before 31st of December, 2020. Mr. President has also directed on the reopening of the borders that while others are being reopened, the ban on importation of rice, poultry and other banned products still subsists and will be implemented by border patrol team.”
KanyiDaily recalls that President Buhari had in August 2019 ordered the closure of the borders to check the menace of smuggling goods and arms and ammunition into the country and protect local businesses.
Countries like Benin Republic and Ghana had appealed to President Buhari to reconsider the closure, but Buhari maintained that the borders would remain closed until the final report of the committee set up on the matter was considered.
A few months ago, the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo assured Nigerians that the Federal Government is working towards reopening all the various land borders in the country.