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Buhari reopens Seme, 3 other borders

President Muhammadu Buhari

.…Idiroko, Jibia remain shut

Chidi Ogbuokiri

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the reopening of Nigeria’s busiest land border, Seme and three others as part of measures to facilitate the return of trade between Nigeria and other neighbouring countries via land.

The four borders approved for immediate reopening include Seme (South West) Illela (North West) Maigatari (North West) Mfun (South-South).

National Mail learnt that the Idiroko border post and other land borders put on hold, it was gathered, would be approved for reopening on December 31, 2020.

While Seme border is in Lagos State, Illela border is situated in Sokoto State, Maigatari border in Jigawa State, and Mfun border in Cross River State.

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, said that the approval was to ensure the return of normal business activities across the borders and for people to trade legally without hindrance.

Briefing newsmen on Wednesday after the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting, Ahmed clarified that though the border had been reopened, restriction on the importation of some commodities, including rice, poultry products, among others would continue.

It would be recalled that the President partially closed all the country’s land borders since October 2019, a development that halted all trading activities via land borders.

The decision to close the borders was said to have been informed by the rising smuggling of rice into Nigeria and illicit exports of locally subsidized petrol to neighboring countries.

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