Home Nigerian Federal Politics We will soon reopen the land borders – VP Yemi Osinbajo

We will soon reopen the land borders – VP Yemi Osinbajo

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Nigeria has cracks that could lead to break up - VP Yemi Osinbajo
VP Yemi Osinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says the Federal Government is working seriously on plans to reopen the Nigerian border for free access and trade activities.

”We will soon reopen Nigeria’s land borders.” the Vice President confirmed as a recent decision to be made by the Federal Government.

This statement by the Vice President was made precisely on Monday 28th September 2020 as part of the federal government plans to gradually ease the initial closure and lockdown caused by the corona virus pandemic.

In October 2019, President Muhammadu Buhari ordered the closure of land borders to check smuggling goods and arms into the country after a partial closure of the Seme border in August 2019.

Speaking during a webinar organised by The Africa Report on Thursday, the Vice President of the federation, Osinbajo said the Federal Government is working towards reopening the borders.

The webinar, which was themed ‘Bouncing back: Nigeria’s post-pandemic recovery plan’, focused on issues regarding government frameworks to be adopted towards economic recovery following the coronavirus pandemic which affected countries globally.

Reacting to a question on the continued closure of the land borders despite preparations for the implementation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), the vice president said the government is working with neighbouring countries on the terms of reopening the border.

“We are working with our neighbours to see on what terms we would reopen those borders. At the moment, we are undertaking joint border patrols to control smuggling along the borders and we think it is working and I am sure that soon enough we should have the borders opened,” he said.

“We are committed to the AfCFTA but we are concerned about threats to security and the economy and we had to take certain actions that would satisfy the immediate needs of our country. It (border closure) certainly wasn’t meant to be permanent and we are looking forward to reopening as quickly as possible.”

In the opinions of many Nigerians, the federation’s authorities should be very conscious of their decision to reopen these land borders while considering the agitations from Nigerians and other international traders within and outside the country. In as much as it is laudable to promote a free trade atmosphere, it is more imperative for the federal government to checkmate the smuggling of illegal goods and arms into the country.

Many Nigerians are also wary of the threat posed by insecurities and the influx of foreign persons through these borders into the country.

 

Gift Joseph Okpakorese
Staff Writer
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