The ban on the importation of rice, poultry and other products remain in force, even though President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the reopening of the country’s borders.
This was confirmed by the Minister of Finance, Budget and Planning, Zainab Ahmed.
“The ban on the importation of rice, poultry and other banned products still subsists and will be implemented by the border patrol team,” Ahmed said.
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo, also added that the problem of smuggling will now be effectively tackled after this ban.
“The issue of smuggling of rice to the country has reduced drastically. We are hoping that our agencies will be able to sustain that so also is the issue of poultry smuggling. Also, very important is the issue of importation of small arms and weapons into the country that also has stopped,” Adebayo said.
Buhari had ordered the closure of the borders in August 2019 saying the move was to curb smuggling of goods and weapons.
On December 16th, Buhari ordered the reopening of land borders.
“The president has approved the reopening of four land borders, namely– Seme, South-West, Ilela, North West, Maigatari border in the North-West and North-Central and Mfum in the South-South. These four land borders will be opened immediately, while the remaining land borders are directed to be reopened on or before Dec. 31,’’ the finance minister said.
She said that Buhari also directed that while the borders were being reopened, the ban on the importation of rice, poultry and other products still subsisted and would be implemented by the border patrol team.
However, despite the reopening of the land borders, Nigeria’s land border with Benin Republic at Seme, near Badagry, Lagos State, has remained closed, more than 24 hours after the Federal Government announced its reopening on Wednesday.