The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, has said the Federal Government is reviewing activities at four of the nation’s land borders which were reopened last week.
Shehu, on Tuesday while speaking on Channels Television’s Politics Today programme noted that the government may close the borders again if there is any “trouble”.
On December 16, the Federal Government had ordered the immediate reopening of the Seme Border in Lagos State, Illela Border in Sokoto State, Maigatari Border in Jigawa State, and Mfun Border in Cross River State.
The closure of the borders in August 2019 was to reduce illegal importation of drugs, ammunitions and agricultural products into the country from neighbouring West African nations.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, had on last Wednesday announced that the presidential committee set up on the border closure had completed its job and had recommended the reopening of the borders after a Federal Executive Council meeting.
Ahmed also said Buhari approved the immediate reopening of the four borders while other borders would be reopened before December 31, 2020 hopefully.
However on Tuesday, Shehu noted that Nigeria’s neighbours had not cooperated with the country to lessen the invasion of bandits and small weapons which has been adding to the insecurity in Nigeria.
He said, “This is why the president considered the closure of the land borders for much of this time until they were reopened a week or so ago.
“This country has been talking to our neighbours, asking them that they cooperate with us in order to stop this influx of bandits, weapons, drugs and trafficking of Nigerian women but the cooperation has not measured up to the expectation of the president.
“This is why he was forced by the necessity of the situation to shut down the borders.
“Now, we are reopening in the hope that the agreement we struck with them, that they will work hand in hand with our own security agencies, with our own customs, on a trial basis, because not all entry points have been reopened. It will be tried, if it works well, then others will be reopened. If there is trouble, then the government may have a rethink.”
“It is the technical committee that will advise the government on how well things are working now that we have reopened four points out of the numerous that we have,” Shehu added.