It is no longer news how the Nigerian FG closed the Seme and Idiroko borders, which has led to high cost of those commodities such as rice, groundnut oil, we are importing from neighbouring west African country like Niger, Benin Republic.
However on Monday been October 14, 2019, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed has come out to sharply support the Buhari led administration for closing the borders (Seme and Idiroko) linking Nigeria to Niger and Benin Republic. According to her, if these borders are not closed, the activities of smuggling and illegal movement of goods cannot be checked and control and also more revenue will be lost from that sources.
She further said, “It has to be Nigeria first and we have to protect our own industries because some of our neighbours have been flagrantly abusing commitments that we jointly signed to and the President has said this is no longer acceptable.”
“The border closure is not forever, there will be an end date, the federal government is currently in discussion with governments of our neighbouring countries Niger and the Benin Republic.
“We are negotiating to make sure that the challenges that led to the closure of the borders are addressed on both sides but, especially that our neighbours meet the commitments that we signed unto several years ago.
“Once those discussions are concluded, the borders will be opened again.”
This statement was made in Abuja at the public presentation of the 2020 budget proposals.