EXCLUSIVE: Nigerian Borders Will be Reopened If - FG
By Ufuoma Egbamuno
Nigerian government has given conditions that must be met before the reopening of borders that have been closed since August 2019.
Senior Special Assistant to President Buhari on Public Affairs, Ajuri Ngelela says the borders “will not open until a set of agreements” which has been put forward to neighbouring states are agreed upon.
Ngelale made this closure on Nigeria Info’s current affairs programme, Hard Facts.
While responding to questions from show-host Sandra Ezekwesili, the SSA insists that these agreements will not just be “word based but facts based that are verified by all the officials of all the countries.”
“That’s what we have put forward,” Ngelale noted. “We have made it clear to all our friends because we are not here to antagonise anybody. Ultimately we want free trade, what we don’t want is illicit smuggling.”
President Buhari’s assistant noted that “as soon as that has been agreed to, the borders will open.”
“Nigerians should experience the difference,” he admits
President Buhari announced the partial closure of Nigeria’s land borders in August, a move the government insists is beneficial. Last month, Comptroller of Nigeria Customs Service, Hameed Ali enumarated the benefits of the border closure.
“It is becoming clearer that those who had some doubts about the rationale for partial closure of the land border that we indeed have a lot to gain,” Ali said while showcasing intercepted smuggled goods worth #900 million in Port Harcourt.
"Security has improved; farmers are enjoying patronage" Customs boss, Hameed Ali explains FG's gains following border closure pic.twitter.com/DyjGjqfUDa— Nigeria Info FM 99.3 (@NigeriainfoFM) October 30, 2019
“Security is improving, farmers are enjoying patronage and are able to engage more hands and our wellbeing has also been increased because the drugs that are being imported especially Tramadol and the rest which are harmful to the health and wellbeing of our people have been reduced drastically,” he added.
President Buhari earlier this month announced that the borders will remain closed until January 2020.