Hope Rises As FG Mulls Reopening Of Land Borders

There seems to be glimpse of hope for manufacturers, importers and exporters as the federal government said it is ready to reopen the nation’s land border to import and export trade the moment the issues that necessitated the closure are addressed, LEADERSHIP has learnt.

The borders were shut against neigbouring countries in August 2019 on the order of President Muhammadu Buhari due to unabated smuggling of rice, fuel, poultry arms and ammunitions, hard drugs, illegal migration among other trade malpractices happening through the land borders.

The closure significantly affected trade in foodstuffs especially foreign parboiled rice, poultry products which had already been affected by various past import restrictions.

However, speaking exclusively to LEADERSHIP yesterday, the national public relations officer, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Joseph Attah said the government will reopen as soon as issues identified such as rice, poultry smuggling among other malpractices that led to the closure of the borders are addressed by neigbouring countries.

Attah, who is also the spokesman of the National Border Drill Operation also said the government will review the outcome of the  tripartite committee comprising Nigeria, Benin and Niger Republic on the closure of the country’s land borders before it could take a decision on the reopening of the border.

According to him, “Government is studying the situation and there is a tripartite committee meeting which Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), is involved. The outcome of the committee will be reviewed and appropriate decision will be taken.

“The whole idea is to ensure that the issues that were identified by Nigeria that led to the border closure are addressed.”

The closure of border then, was part of an effort to tackle smuggling and associated corruption, but also to spur the domestic agricultural revolution.

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