The number one citizen of the federal republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari has reassured Nigerians that the nation’s land borders that were shut in August 2019 will be reopened soon.
The vice president had mentioned the possibility of the land borders being reopened sometime around early October this year 2020, and this stirred up lots of anticipation amongst Nigerians especially those involved in businesses that required importation and exportation of goods through these land borders.
The president made this announcement while speaking during a meeting with governors of the 36 states on Tuesday, 8.December 2020. Where he claimed that the borders were shut in the interest of the country and its economy.
According to Buhari, numerous negative factors were responsible for the border closure but he however laid emphasis on smuggling as one of the major reasons for taking the action and also affirmed that he was glad that decision was made since the closure of the border had yielded positive outcome.
In the words of the president as expressed by his spokesperson Garba Shehu;
“Now that the message has sunk in with our neighbours, we are looking into reopening the borders as soon as possible,”
It is interesting to note that this statements of the president with regards to the border closure, comes two weeks after the minister of finance Zainab Ahmed, revealed that she had discussed with state house correspondents that the presidential committee set up on the border closure had recommended reopening.
The finance minister had reiterated that after due evaluation of the whole process and after weighing the gains and losses of the closure, the committee had deemed it fit and necessary to recommend to the president to reopen the borders.
“We have made an assessment, the president set up a committee to carry out an assessment and all the members of the committee recommended to the president that it is time to open the borders,” she had said.
“The objectives have been met in the sense that we have been able to work with our partners in a tripartite committee and reinforce the sanctity of the commitment that we made to one another so each side has learnt its lesson.
“Nigeria has been affected as well as our partners in terms of businesses so we will be expecting that the border will reopen very soon. The date will be decided by the president.
With the above disclosure by the minister of finance and with the initial assurance given by the vice President prof Yemi Osinbajo earlier this year Nigerians are very confident the decision to reopen the borders will soon be effected and thus provide some respite to the hardships faced by citizens.
Gift Joseph Okpakorese