Business players expressed relief and excitement yesterday as the federal government announced the immediate reopening of four of the land borders, shut about 15 months ago, with a promise to reopen others before December 31.
There has been pressure on the federal government to reopen the land borders, with many analysts holding the policy as one of the dominant factors affecting the persistent rise in inflation.
Briefing reporters after the 28th weekly virtual FEC meeting, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, listed those opened as Seme in the South-west, Mfun in the South-south, Ilela and Maigatari borders in the North-west
Ahmed said restrictions on importation of some commodities such as rice, poultry products and other products, would, however, continue.
Asked to comment on any accruable benefits from the closure of land borders since August last year, the Minister of Trade and Investment, Chief Adeniyi Adebayo, said the benefits were many.
According to him, the closure did not only give security agencies the opportunity to assess prevalent challenges on smuggling at the borders, but also stopped the smuggling of petroleum products out of the country.
Adebayo added that the closure stopped the smuggling of rice, poultry products and small arms while it is hoped that security agencies would leverage these benefits of the closures by ensuring that ending smuggling.