Border closure: Buhari speaks on re-opening

On Monday, President Muhammadu Buhari said that two months after Nigeria’s land border was closed, smuggling activities had been curbed.

Noting that he was not sure of reopening date, Buhari said the decision would save billions of naira on import bills to the country.

Receiving a delegation from the Katsina State Elders Forum at his country home in Daura, the president said domestic fuel consumption in the country had fallen by more than 30% after land borders had been closed.

Buhari said the borders would only be opened if the situation improved.

The President commended Niger Republic President Muhammadou Youssoufou’s actions, including the dismissal of officials and a ban on the country’s use as a dumping ground for illegal goods bound to Nigeria.

The president acknowledged that the Niger president’s actions were helpful and supportive.

Buhari noted the suffering of border communities following a 20-kilometer border ban on the sale of fuel at stations, a restriction that also saw the closure of all fuel stations in his city, Daura.

“There must be security for peasants. In the country, dishonesty is deeply rooted. Otherwise the closer boundary would not be justified, “he said.

According to him, the restriction was a temporary measure as it was necessary for the Nigerian Customs Service to identify outlets involved in the real sale of products and those used for smuggling.

President Buhari told the delegation that he wanted to follow poverty alleviation schemes and the agricultural and livestock reforms that the administration had introduced in the first term, since the vote was behind him and a government was now in place.