The presidency said on Tuesday that the federal government was studying activities on the country’s four land borders, which reopened last week, adding that the government might close the borders again if there were any “problems”.
Senior Special Assistant to the President for Media and Promotion, Garba Shehu, announced this on Tuesday, speaking further Politics TV channels today the program follows PUNCH.
On December 16, the federal government ordered the urgent reopening of the Seme border in Lagos state, the Illela border in Sokoto state, the Maigatari border in Jigawa state, and the Mfun border in Cross River state.
Nigeria closed its land borders in August 2019 to reduce the illegal import of drugs, small arms and agricultural products into the country from neighboring West African countries.
But Finance, Budget and National Planning Minister Zainab Ahmed announced last Wednesday after a meeting of the Federal Executive Council that the presidential committee established on the issue had completed its work and recommended reopening the borders.
The minister also said the president has approved the current opening of four borders, while other borders will hopefully open before December 31, 2020.
But speaking on Tuesday, Shehu regretted that Nigeria’s neighbors had not cooperated with the country to reduce the influx of bandits and small arms, which he claimed fueled insecurity in Nigeria.
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He said, “That’s why the president spent most of this time thinking about closing the land borders until they reopened about a week ago.
“This country has talked to our neighbors, asking them to cooperate with us in order to stop this influx of robbers, weapons, drugs and trafficking in Nigerian women, but the cooperation was not measured according to the president’s expectations.
“That is why the necessity of the situation forced him to close the borders.
“Now we are reopening in the hope that the agreement we reached with them will test them hand in hand with our own security agencies and our customs, because not all entry points are reopened. They will try, if it works well, others will reopen. If there are problems, the government may reconsider. ”
“It is the technical committee that will advise the government on how well things are working now that we have reopened four points out of the many we have,” Shehu added.