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After 13 months of closure, FG working to reopen land borders

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THE Federal Government is working towards reopening the nation’s land borders after one year they have been closed, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said.

Osinbajo gave stated this while speaking during a webinar organised by The Africa Report where he noted that the closure of the country’s land borders was done to protect Nigeria’s economy and enhance security.

While stating that the Nigerian Government is committed to the letters of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), he added that Nigeria has started working with its neighbouring countries to work out modalities that would lead to the reopening of its borders.

“We are working with our neighbours to see on what terms we would reopen those borders. At the moment, we are undertaking joint border patrols to control smuggling along the borders and we think it is working and I am sure that soon enough we should have the borders opened,” Osinbajo said.

“We are committed to the AfCFTA but we are concerned about threats to security and the economy and we had to take certain actions that would satisfy the immediate needs of our country. It (border closure) certainly wasn’t meant to be permanent and we are looking forward to reopening as quickly as possible.”

In August 2019, President Muhammadu Buhari gave an order for a total closure of the country’s land borders to the movement of goods from neighbouring countries, saying it is high time the country ended snuggling.

The President’s decision has been heavily criticised by experts and neighbouring countries like Benin Republic.

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The rise in the price of essential commodities and staple foods in the country have also been attributed to the closure of the country’s land borders.

Vincent Ufuoma is a reporter with The ICIR. He is a lover of God, truth, knowledge and justice.

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