The Federal Government on Monday said seizures made by security agents at the country’s land borders indicated that the republics of Benin and Niger were not addressing issues that led to the border closure. The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, stated this when he led a government delegation to the Seme border on Monday.
He explained that from the magnitude seizures made and the number of illegal immigrants apprehended in the last two weeks, it was obvious that “nothing is being done yet by both countries – Benin and Niger – to address the challenges.” Nigeria had in August closed its land borders, saying smuggling of goods from its neighbouring countries was hurting its economy. On November 4, the Federal Government listed five conditions for reopening of the country’s land borders.
As one of the conditions, the Federal Government said Nigeria would not accept imported goods that were repackaged by neigbouring countries and brought to Nigeria. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, during a meeting of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on the Temporary Partial Closure of Land Borders in Abuja, also said that the only travel document allowed for anybody coming into the country through the land borders is the passport, stressing that the country would not accept any other documents such as the identity card.