In Washington Dc, US on Friday, in an Interview at the World Bank and International Monetary Fund’s Spring meeting, the Nigeria minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning made it clearer to the international community that the Nigerian government’s closure of her borders with her West African neighbours, Benin and Niger Republic since August is not just to stop smuggling of staple food items.
The minister said it is a measure taken by the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to curb the peddling of weapons and drugs through these borders.
The minister went further to say that, “It’s also about security because that’s how ammunition comes into our country and that’s how drugs that are destroying our children also come into our country,” she said.
The minister went further to acknowledge how Benin Republic border closure has led to serious food inflation in Nigeria. Remember that Nigeria and Benin republic signed a treaty known as the African Continental Free Trade Area in August, this agreement was for the two countries to remove all barriers to free trade and harsh tariffs, which encourages high degree of economic integration.
The minister further said that, ” Nigeria, Benin and Niger Republic customs and other security apparatuses in the respective countries are doing everything possible to tighten up securities in the various borders before future reopening of the borders.
She concluded by saying that, the Nigerian government is doing everything possible to sanitize the borders and to ensure that neighbouring countries conform to the agreement signed upon in the Africa Continental Free Trade.