The federal government of Nigeria has approved the re-opening of the Seme border for the importation of vehicles.
Director of Road Transport in the Ministry of Transportation, Ibrahim Musa, disclosed this on Wednesday, June 21, 2023, at the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, meeting organised between officials of Nigeria and Benin Republic.
According to Musa, the development followed complaints by freight forwarders operating at the Seme border.
He said: “I was here with the former Minister of State for Transportation when the freight forwarders pleaded that the border should be reactivated for the free movement of goods and services.
“The former minister made us prepare a memo to that effect. It was considered and sent to the government.”
Similarly, the Customs Area Controller of Seme Border Command, Dera Nnadi, who also spoke at the event, lamented that the service has noticed a reduction in its revenue since the importation of vehicles through the land borders was suspended by the immediate past administration.
Nnadi said: “The former Minister of Transportation, responding to some of our requests and from the stakeholders, promised to take them to the Federal Executive Council, FEC, one of them is how to fully open this border.
“The Ministry has informed us that the memo has been written to FEC and it was adopted and that it would be given to the new government, he assured us that all the requests were adopted.”
Recall, in August 2019, Nigeria closed its land borders over the proliferation of illegal importation of drugs, small arms, and agricultural products into Nigeria from neighbouring West African countries.
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In 2020, the federal government under former President Muhammadu Buhari ordered the reopening of borders in Seme in Lagos, Illela in Sokoto, Maigatari in Jigawa, and Mfum in Cross River.
In April 2022, he also approved the reopening of borders like Idiroko in Ogun, Jibiya in Katsina, Kamba in Kebbi, and Ikom in Cross River.