Protesters on Monday expressed their anger at the border closure just as Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, led a Federal Government delegation on an assessment of the situation at Seme Border.
The protesters who displayed placards with various inscriptions, demanded for a quick resolution of the issues leading to the closure of the country’s borders.
According to them, over N5 billion has been lost by businessmen whose goods were affected by the closure.
Mohammed who was accompanied by the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola; Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama and the Minister of State, Finance and National Planning, Clem Agba, reiterated that national interest must come first.
He said the closure has halted the smuggling of foreign rice into the country, in addition to other prohibited items.
According to him, while farmers are expanding their farms, the closure has increased revenue generation just as monthly import revenue has increased by 50 percent
He said: “I thank all the stakeholders who have come here to receive us and I want to assure you that the Federal Government has sent this very high-level ministerial delegation to ensure exactly how important the issue of national security has had on the economy.”
The Minister assured that the government is doing everything possible to end the issues at the borders.
He stated that 95 percent of illicit drugs and weapons that are being used for acts of terrorism and kidnapping in Nigeria today come in through our porous borders.
The minister also revealed that security agencies in the last two weeks have arrested over 296 illegal immigrants and recovered some cache of arms and ammunitions from illegal importation
He said other items seized include 38,743-50kg bags of parboiled foreign rice; 514 vehicles; 1,012 drums filled with petroleum; 5,400 jerricans of vegetable oil; 346 motorcycles; 10,553 jerricans of petrol and 136 bags of NPK fertilizer used for making explosives.