Buhari to Akufo-Addo: We shut our borders to check small arms, hard drugs

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari on Monday told his Ghanaian counterpart, Nana Akufo-Addo that the Nigeria’s policy on partial border closure will remain until the committee set up to examine the implications of suspending the policy submits its recommendation.

Buhari disclosed this while responding to a plea by Akufo-Addo asking the Nigerian President to expedite actions to lifting the ban on border closure.

“We will get things sorted out. Our farmers, especially those who grow rice, now have a market and are happy, and we are also concerned about hard drugs and weapons,” Buhari said during a bilateral discussion on the side-line of the on-going UK-Africa Investment Summit 2020 in London.

“Once the committee comes up with its recommendations, we will sit and consider them.”

Akufo-Addo, last year December expressed how the policy affected the logistics business in Ghana, thus rendering his citizens jobless.

In 2019, Buhari initiated the partial border closure policy to address the smuggling of agricultural produce, particularly rice, poultry products, small arms and other goods the government consider contraband.

Shortly after, the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) disclosed thatvit has  raked in N1.4 billion as revenue due to the border closure while 319 suspects were arrested.

The affected countries since the policy took effect had lamented that it was hurting farmers, thus crippling their economy.

    However, Buhari disclosed plans to suspend the policy in January 2020, stressing that the policy is to further support local farmers in the country and boost national security.

    According to him, Sahel region has largely been proliferated with small arms, blaming it on the security challenges in nations such as Mali, Niger, Chad, Burkina Faso and Nigeria.

    “We are in fact the biggest victims,” the president noted in a statement issued by Femi Adesina, his special adviser on Media and Publicity.

    “When most of the vehicles carrying rice and other food products through our land borders are intercepted, you find cheap hard drugs, small arms under the food products. This has terrible consequences for any country.”

    Olugbenga heads the Investigations Desk at The ICIR. Do you have a scoop? Shoot him an email at [email protected]. Twitter Handle: @OluAdanikin

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