The pressure continues to pile on the Federal Government to reopen the borders but it won’t bulge until its conditions are met by countries involved. FG has restated that it won’t be opening the border until Niger Republic and Benin Republic meet its five conditions.
The Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed made this unequivocally clear when he led a delegation to the Seme border yesterday.
“Local consumption of fuel had dropped by 30% apparently due to the reduction in smuggling of petroleum products to neighbouring countries.
“The partial closure has so far curbed the smuggling of foreign rice into the country, in addition to other prohibited items. Our series of interactions and engagements with the Rice Miller Association of Nigeria since the commencement of this exercise has shown that the border closure has enhanced more production and milling of Nigerian rice.
“Patronage of Nigerian rice has increased and farmers are expanding their farms as well as engaging more hands. Furthermore, the border closure has impacted positively on revenue generation of the Federal Government which in turn will be used to build more infrastructure and develop critical sectors of the nation’s economy.
“The border exercise has also curbed diversion of petroleum products from Nigeria to neighbouring countries,” Lai explained.
One of the five conditions include that Nigeria would turn down imported goods repackaged by neighbouring countries and brought to Nigeria.
Another condition requires immigrants to identify themselves by providing a passport. These agreements were reached during a meeting of Inter-Ministerial Committee on the Temporary Partial Closure of Land Borders in Abuja.