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Seme border stays closed 24 hours after Federal Government orders

A correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), who visited Seme on Thursday evening, reports that human and vehicular movement across the border post was restricted because the frontier remained under lock.

NAN reports that intending vacationers have been denied exit at Seme by officials of Nigeria Immigration Service who claimed that they had been yet to get formal directive to reopen the border.

An official of Nigeria Customs Service, who pleaded anonymity, informed NAN that security agencies at the border post had been nonetheless expecting official directives to reopen the border.

We heard about the reopening of the four land borders from the news on Wednesday, but we are still waiting for directives from head office in Abuja.

“We can not just open the border like that. As you can see, when the border was closed they introduced Joint Border Patrol which comprises of Army, Immigration, Police and Customs.

“Anytime they ask us to open the border, we will open it,” he stated.

NAN additionally reports that movement restrictions and checking of products and vehicles remained in place at more than 20 checkpoints mounted by Customs, Immigration and Police alongside Badagry Expressway.

Additionally, commercial activities had been yet to pick up at the Seme market as a result of continued closure of the border.

Mrs Funke Senapon, a trader at the standard Seme market, appealed to Federal Government to order the officials to reopen the border.

She mentioned that residents and merchants who had been rejoicing concerning the information of the reopening had been disappointed once they discovered that border had not been opened.

NAN reports that the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, on Wednesday announced the instant reopening of 4 land borders after the Federal Executive Council assembly held virtually in Abuja.

The Federal Government had on August 21, 2019, ordered the closure of Nigerian borders to curb smuggling of products and weapons.

“The president has approved the reopening of four land borders, namely– Seme, South-West, Ilela, North West, Maigatari border in the North-West and North-Central and Mfum in the South-South.

“These four land borders will be opened immediately, while the remaining land borders are directed to be reopened on or before Dec. 31,’’ the minister instructed State House Correspondents in Abuja on Wednesday.

She mentioned that Buhari additionally directed that while the borders had been being reopened, the ban on the importation of rice, poultry and different products nonetheless subsisted and can be implemented by the border patrol team.

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