Tell Us What You Gained By Shutting Border For 32 Months – Clearing Agents Slam Buhari

Clearing Agents Slam Buhari For Reopening Border After 32 Months

Clearing agents operating in Nigeria’s maritime sector, have slammed President Muhammadu Buhari for authorising the reopening of the country’s land borders after 32 months of closure.

BizWatch Nigeria had reported that, on Friday, April 22, 2022, the Buhari-led government approved the second phase of the reopening of the remaining four land borders at Idiroko, Jibia, Kamba, and Ikom.

It would be recalled that the Federal Government (FG) had shut the land borders due to the incessant smuggling of arms and different contraband goods.

In December 2020, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) re-opened the country’s four major land borders, which were Seme, Ilella, Maigatari, and Mfun.

Reacting to this, a member of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Segun Musa charged the government to tell Nigerians what had been achieved by closing the borders.

“Federal government has refused to tell us what they have achieved from the closure of the borders these years. If there has not been any achievement, then the closure was a disaster. As the government re-opens the border, they should be able to tell us what they have achieved within the period and what measures have been put in place to ensure that we don’t expect a closure again.”

According to him, Buhari needed to provide these explanations to assure Nigerians that the border closure itself was not a disaster.

“Government can’t just wake up overnight, after closing the borders for too long, and just re-opened it without analysing their achievements so far during the closure.”

“We have not gained anything and it has been a disaster. A lot of businesses are shut down. We have over 80% of small-scale businesses that are using that corridor to source their raw materials, equipment, spare parts, and other consumables. And they lost billions of dollars in that unfortunate situation. Some even committed suicide and nobody has put a measure in place to check the impact assessment,” he added.

Similarly, a member of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Ojo Akintoye said that the reopening of the land borders was political, as he queried why the decision was coming now that the country was planning for its 2023 election.

“It is political, tell us why they were closed in the first place and tell us why Buhari decided to open the borders now that the election is around the corner. I don’t know why we continue to deceive ourselves in this country. You said you closed the borders because of security threats and since then till now, the security threat has been increasing on a daily basis. So how do we justify that?

“Or is the government coming to tell us that there are no more security challenges in the country?” he queried.

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