Tinubu may soon fling Seme Border Open

Seme Border. Credit: The Punch

When Ibrahim Musa, the Director of Road Transport, Federal Ministry of Transportation, visited Seme border during a meeting between officials of Nigeria and Benin organised by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), yesterday, he revealed a piece of news pleasing to the ears of those who engage in cross country businesses. The border would soon reopen!

Musa told journalists that the Federal Executive Council had approved a memo prepared and sent to the Federal Government on the reopening. What prompted this was that freight forwarders operating at Seme Border wrote to the former Minister of State for Transportation during his last visit to the border “demanding the opening of the border for vehicle importation.”

However, Musa disclosed that the Muhammadu Buhari government promised to leave the matter to President Bola Tinubu to implement.

In the words of Musa: “I was here with the former Minister of State for Transportation and the freight forwarders pleaded that the border should be reactivated for free movement of goods and services. The minister made us prepare a memo to that effect. It was considered and sent to the government.”

Dera Nnadi, the Customs Area Controller in charge of Seme Command, also said, “The Honorable Minister of Transportation, the immediate past one, responding to some of our requests and from the stakeholders, promised to take them to the Federal Executive Council; one of them is how to fully open this border.”

Nnadi, as Punch reported, also said illegal checkpoints along the border corridors have been dismantled by customs, while the Border Control unit of the Nigerian Police Force has promised to do the same. He urged the Federal Government to complete the highway from Lagos to Seme Border, saying the completion would grow trade and investment in the Abidjan-Lagos corridor. The Seme Customs boss maintained that the corridor is important for the growth of trade, investment, cultural diversity, and peace in West Africa and the whole of Africa.

Comptroller Nnadi who is also a Co-chair of the Joint Border Post said, “Abidjan-Lagos Corridor is an important corridor for trade among West African countries, a melting point where our people share culture and religion. It is a very important place where we maintain relationships and peace with ourselves. It is important to keep the corridor alive. We appreciate ECOWAS for its contribution to the growth of business in the corridor. While appreciating the Federal Ministry of Transportation for the ongoing rehabilitation of the highway, if the road is complete, it will improve trade.