Lawmaker lauds border reopening

Seme Border

FILE PHOTO: Seme Border post

Senator Francis Alimikhena of APC

Sen. Francis Alimikhena (APC-Edo) has lauded the Federal Government for reopening Nigerian borders.

Alimikhena, who is Chairman Senate Committee on Customs, Excise and Tariffs said this on Friday in Abuja.

He that the reopening of the border was, a very good development for the country.

“It is good for Nigeria and good for our neighbours too. As far as I am concerned, our neighbours will learn how to obey the tariff and the contract agreement we signed with them.

“We too will be able to learn from what we have gained or what we have lost within the period of closure.

“It is a nice thing for us; we will have more revenue, more trade will open. It will not be to the detriment of the country but for the best for the country,” he said.

On whether the reopening of the borders would not lead to illegal activities, Alimikhena said they were better opened officially than allowing smugglers use illegal routes to destroy the economy.

“There is no time that the borders are not porous, even when they close them we were still having battle with smugglers and it is better to open them and know that yes, we know when the smugglers are coming in,” he said.

Also speaking, Sen. Yusuf Yusuf (APC-Taraba) expressed reservation over the reopening of the borders.

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Yusuf, who is Chairman Senate Committee on Special Duties said that the reopening of the borders was a policy matter.

“The President has reopened the borders under certain conditions. Personally, for me, I don’t think it’s right to even open the borders.

“How do you make your people produce. Many countries in the world close their borders for so many years. China did, India did.

“If you don’t close your borders you are not going to induce production. Why should we import food from other people? We have abundant land, water, human resources, we have everything that is required to produce food in this country.

“We have no reason to rely on importation of food,” Yusuf said.

Buhari had on Aug. 2019, directed the closing of Nigerian borders to curb smuggling of goods and weapons.

The President on Wednesday approved the immediate reopening of four land borders.

The borders are Seme, South-West, Ilela, North-West, Maigatari, North-West/North-Central and Mfun in South-South.

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