- Border Closure: Seizures Sign Benin, Niger Not Addressing Issues -Mohammed
The Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed said series of seizures made recently has shown the Republic of Benin and Niger are not addressing the smuggling issue at the borders.
The minister, who led a government delegation to the seme border, made the statement at the border on Monday.
Mohammed said the quantity of the goods seized and the number of illegal immigrants apprehended in the last fourteen days, shows “nothing is being done yet by both countries – Benin and Niger – to address the challenges.”
President Muhammadu Buhari had closed Nigerian land borders in August to force decorum, however, smugglers continue to beat all measures to check illegality at the land borders.
Still, daily consumption of fuel has dropped and revenue generation surged since the border.
Mohammad explained that since the border closure, “local consumption of fuel had dropped by 30 per cent apparently due to the reduction in smuggling of petroleum products to neighbouring countries.
“The partial closure has so far curbed the smuggling of foreign rice into the country, in addition to other prohibited items. Our series of interactions and engagements with the Rice Miller Association of Nigeria since the commencement of this exercise has shown that the border closure has enhanced more production and milling of Nigerian rice.
“Patronage of Nigerian rice has increased and farmers are expanding their farms as well as engaging more hands. Furthermore, the border closure has impacted positively on revenue generation of the Federal Government which in turn will be used to build more infrastructure and develop critical sectors of the nation’s economy.
“The border exercise has also curbed diversion of petroleum products from Nigeria to neighbouring countries.”