FG approves re-opening of Seme border for vehicle importation

The Federal Government has approved the re-opening of the Seme border for the importation of vehicles.

The Director of Road Transport in the Ministry of Transportation, Ibrahim Musa, at the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, meeting organised between officials of Nigeria and Benin Wednesday disclosed that the development followed complaints by freight forwarders operating at the Seme border.

The director, at the ECOWAS Monitoring Team’s visit to the Seme-Krake Joint Border Post, said: “I was here with the former Minister of State for Transportation when the Freight Forwarders pleaded that the border should be reactivated for the free movement of goods and services”.

He disclosed that the Federal Executive Council did approve a memo prepared and sent to the Federal Government on the need to reopen the border for vehicle importation.

The director said FEC had promised to leave the approval on reopening the border to the new government to act on.

“The former minister made us prepare a memo to that effect. It was considered and sent to the government”, he said.

The Customs Area Controller of Seme Border Command, Dera Nnadi said the service has noticed a reduction in its revenue since the importation of vehicles was banned from the land borders.

Nnadi said: “The former Minister of Transportation, responding to some of our requests and from the stakeholders, promised to take them to the Federal Executive Council, FEC, one of them is how to fully open this border.

“The Ministry has informed us that the memo has been written to FEC and it was adopted and that it would be given to the new government, he assured us that all the requests were adopted”.

Nnadi also said illegal checkpoints along the border corridors have been dismantled by customs, while the Border Control unit of the Nigerian Police Force has promised to do the same.

He urged the Federal Government to complete the highway from Lagos to Seme Border, saying the completion would grow trade and investment in the Abidjan-Lagos corridor.

The Seme Customs boss maintained that the corridor is important for the growth of trade, investment, cultural diversity, and peace in West Africa and the whole of Africa.

Comptroller Nnadi who is also a Co-chair of the Joint Border Post said: “Abidjan-Lagos Corridor is an important corridor for trade among West African countries, a melting point where our people share culture and religion. It is a very important place where we maintain relationships and peace with ourselves. It is important to keep the corridor alive.

“We appreciate ECOWAS for its contribution to the growth of business in the corridor. While appreciating the Federal Ministry of Transportation for the ongoing rehabilitation of the highway, if the road is complete, it will improve trade.”

Credible News recalls that the Federal Government had, on August 21, 2019, ordered the the closure of Nigerian borders to curb the smuggling of goods and weapons.


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