President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the immediate reopening of four land borders.
The borders are Seme in Lagos, Illela in Sokoto, Maigatari in Jigawa and Mfun in Cross River.
At the end of the federal executive council (FEC) meeting, Zainab Ahmed, minister of finance, said the president also directed that other land borders that were shut should be reopened from December 31, 2020.
“I am here to just report that His Excellency, the President approved the recommendations of the committee that I chaired with the Minister of Trade and Investment as member, Minister of Interior as member, Minister of Foreign Affairs as member, National Security Adviser as member and Comptroller General of Customs,” she said.
“This committee was mandated to review and advise on the reopening of the Nigerian borders and after recommendations, the president approved the reopening of four land borders, namely: Seme in the South-west part of the country, Ilela in the North-west part of the country, Maitagari in the North-west part of the country and Mfun in the South-south part of the country.
“So, these four land land borders will be reopened immediately while the remaining borders are directed to be reopened on or before 31st of December, 2020. Mr. President has also directed on the reopening of the borders that while others are being reopened, the ban on importation of rice, poultry and other banned products still subsists and will be implemented by border patrol team.”
Nigeria, the largest economy and the most prosperous of the 15-member Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), last August closed its land borders over the proliferation of illegal importation of drugs, small arms and agricultural products into Nigeria from neighbouring West African countries.
But at a meeting with governors last week, Buhari said the borders would be reopened since the closure had yielded results.
Farmers in the country had pleaded with the federal government not to reopen the border, saying such action would affect them negatively.