In order to assess the level of compliance and situations surrounding the closure of Nigeria’s land borders, the Federal Government has inaugurated a Presidential Committee on Border Closure.
The Details: The team, led by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has now moved to the Nigeria-Niger Border in Magama Jibia area of Katsina State to monitor compliance with the closure. This is a continuation of their tour which took them to the Seme border last week.
The team comprised of Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Clement Agba and Minster of State, Industry, Trade and Investment, Mariam Katagum. According to Punch, the team appeared at Shehu Umaru Yar’ Adua Airport in Katsina State around 9:15 am and proceeded to the Nigeria-Niger Border in earnest.
Why this matters: The essence of the tour was to monitor the border and compliance by neighbouring countries.
Recent Developments: Nairametrics reported that the Republic of Benin and Niger failed to meet the conditions for the reopening of Nigeria’s land borders when Lai Mohammed led a government delegation to the Seme border last week.
[READ MORE: Border closure to slow down economic growth in 2020]
Judging from the rate at which goods were smuggled and the number of illegal immigrants arrested, the Minister noted that nothing was done by the neighbouring countries to address the issues that led to the closure of the borders.
However, the Minister for Information relayed good news concerning the closure of Nigeria’s borders. He said local consumption of fuel had dropped by 30% apparently due to the reduction in smuggling of petroleum products to neighbouring countries.
He also added that the partial closure had curbed the smuggling of foreign rice and other banned goods into the country.
Similarly, the Federal Government announced five conditions that would make it reopen the borders after the closure. One of those conditions was that Nigeria would turn down imported goods repackaged by neighbouring countries and brought to Nigeria.
Another condition required 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.