The First Deputy Speaker of Nigeria’s House of Representatives, Ahmed Idris Wase has mounted spirited defence for the country’s decision to close its border at Seme.
He said the closure has been of immense benefits as far as trade and security in the West African country is concerned.
Nigeria in August 2019 closed its border at Seme to check smuggling, a situation which is affecting traders and their businesses in the sub-region.
The West African country has received widespread condemnation over the issue.
But speaking at the ECOWAS Parliament in Nigeria, Mr. Wase maintained that, the closure is normalizing Nigeria’s receding economy.
“With the closure of this border, Nigeria has started seeing some changes in terms of security. These borders have just been used for the purpose of conduit. Are we not supposed to stop what we see? That is why Nigeria decided to take the step. We have a challenge and so this is what we want to do. We also want to be self-sufficient so we decided not to allow other people to enter our border with things we don’t produce. Others want to use our own people to make money at the detriment of our own country. We realized that some of the rice imported into the country had expiration of more than five years. I don’t think that is allowed. Now, the Nigeria economy is doing well and getting better.”
The First Deputy Speaker also made a strong case of the closure indicating that the country will continue to enforce the ban on foreign goods to make the country self-reliable.
First Deputy Speaker of Nigeria’s House of Representatives, Ahmed Idris Wase
“Nigeria has a lot in common with all the countries we share border with. I want to believe that we are a one member nation. No country in the ECOWAS sub-region is allowed to export into another country what it does not produce. Meaning by our own action, we want to be self sufficient, we want to encourage progression. We can’t be sufficient with what we call the super power of the world. They use our own conduit and send it to us. This is not acceptable in Nigeria and I believe as good countries, we should encourage our people to be objective. Nigeria has paid its dues and continues to pay its dues. “Why Nigeria’s border is closed
Nigeria closed its border to stop what it called the smuggling of products from its neighboring West African countries into the country.
The action taken by Nigeria was to express its displeasure at the attitude of the Beninese authorities in order to elicit their cooperation.
Several calls for the country to open the border have been unsuccessful.
After three months of closing the border, Nigeria extended the period for the closure of its frontiers to other countries till January 31, 2020.
The closure which was expected to be in force for twenty-eight (28) days, was extended as a result of the 'overwhelming success' the closure had chalked in the face of the country's economy and security.