Over 800 Trucks Stuck at Seme Border - Stakeholder
By Olamide Fadoju
The Federal Government’s decision to close down the Nigerian-Benin land border (Seme border) has affected the movement of goods into the country as over 800 trucks of “genuine” goods are reportedly stuck at the border.
State Chairman, Nigerian Licenced Customs Agent (ANLCA) Seme Border Chapter, Lasisi Fanu revealed this in an interview with Sheriff Quadri on Nigeria Info FM programme, Morning Crossfire.
According to Mr Lasisi, there was no prior notice before the border was closed on August 20 and those trucks had been there before the closure.
“If there had been a notice that in the next one month or two, any importer that passes through Cotonou again is on his own, there wouldn’t have been this cry for those things there because I am sure they would stop passing”.
He pleaded with the government to create a platform that will allow those trucks carrying genuine goods that were at the border before the closure to be cleared to come into the country
“If the government can create a corridor just for what we have at the Seme border right now we have more than 800 trucks there worth billions of Naira.
The Seme border which was partially shutdown in September was totally closed on Tuesday following an announcement by Comptroller-General, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Hameed Ali that all categories of goods would no longer be allowed to pass through the borders.
At a joint news conference with his Nigeria Immigration Service counterpart, Mohammed Babandede, in Abuja,
Ali said: “For now, all goods, whether illicit or non-illicit, are banned from going and coming into Nigeria. Let me add that for the avoidance of doubt, we included all goods because all goods can equally come through our seaports.”
He said: “We hope that by the time we get to the end of this exercise, we would have exactly, between us and our neighbours, agreed on the type of goods that should enter and exit our country.
“For now, all import and export of cargoes from the land borders are banned, until there is an agreement with the neighbouring countries on the kind of goods traded with Nigeria.
“For that reason, we have deemed it necessary, for now, that importers of such goods should go through our controlled borders where we have scanners to verify the kind of goods”.