Tinubu to Re-open Seme Land Border for Vehicle Importation

…Seme Customs Command Dismantle Checkpoints

…ECOWAS Caution Nigeria, Benin Republic on Management of Border Facilities


There are indications that President Bola Tinubu might soon reopen the Seme land borders for importation of vehicles and movement of other goods and services, in order to ameliorate the suffering of Nigerians due to years of border closure.

This indication was dropped yesterday by Mr Ibrahim Musa Director, Road Transport, Federal Ministry of Transportation at the ECOWAS Monitoring Team visit to Seme-Krake Joint Border Post on Tuesday, June 21, 2023.

Compt Dera Nnadi
Compt Dera Nnadi

This is even as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has cautioned Nigeria and Benin Republic during the meeting, on the maintenance of the joint border post and it’s facilities, lamenting that some of them are already deteriorating.

Speaking at the meeting, Mr Musa said the freight forwarders operating at the Seme Border had made an appeal to the former Minister of State for Transportation,
during his last visit to the border, asking for the reactivation of the border and this request was granted by the Federal Executive Council (FEC)

“I was here with the former Minister of State for Transportation and the Freight Forwarders pleaded that the border should be reactivated for free movement of goods and services. The Minister made us to prepare a memo to that effect. It was considered and sent to the government

Corroborating Musa, Customs Area Controller, Seme Border Command, Compt Dera Nnadi said the service has noticed the reduction in it’s revenue since importation of vehicles was banned from the land borders.

“The Honorable Minister of Transportation, the immediate past one, responding to some of our requests and from the stakeholders, promised to take them to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) one of them is how to fully open this border.

Presentation of sport kits to community leaders after the Customs Community Relationship meeting

“The Ministry has informed us that the memo has been written to FEC and it was adopted and that it would be given to the new government, he assured that all the requests were adopted, this is very cheering” he said

Compt Nnadi also said that illegal checkpoints along the border corridors have been dismantled by customs, while the Border Control unit of the Nigerian Police has promised to do the same.

He urged the federal government to complete the highway from Lagos to Seme Border, saying the completion will grow trade and investment in the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor.

Comptroller Dera Nnadi maintained that the corridor is important for the growth of trade, investment, cultural diversity and peace in West Africa and the whole of Africa.

Ashoka Maliki, ECOWAS Head of Road and Railway (left) and Mrs Saidat Adediran both representing ECOWAS at the JBP meeting

Comptroller Nnadi who is also a Co-chair of the Joint Border Post “Abidjan-Lagos Corridor is an important corridor for trade among West African countries, a melting point where our people share culture and religion. It is a very important place where we maintain relationship and peace with ourselves. It is important to keep the corridor alive. We appreciate ECOWAS for its contribution to the growth of business in the corridor.

“While appreciating the Federal Ministry of Transportation for the ongoing rehabilitation of the highway, if the road is complete, it will improve trade.”

Nnadi called on Nigerian exporters/importers and other investors to take full advantage of the lift on the ban on export by the government and ensure that they obtain the necessary documents from the right authorities.

Speaking later during Customs Community Relationship meeting, Compt Nnadi urged royal father’s, community leaders and stakeholders to ensure that their communities obey the law whenever they are flagged down.

“Now that we have dismantled the checkpoints, your people must also obey the law when they are stopped for checks, if not, they would lose their means of conveyance” he said

Speaking, the Head of ECOWAS delegation, Mr. Maliki Ashoke, Head, Road & Railways, ECOWAS Commission, said the essence of the visit was to take stock of all activities in the Corridor since the last visit over a year ago and hear the challenges being faced by operators – Customs, Immigration and others from both countries.

Ashoke observed that the weightbridge and scanners in the corridor were not used, saying the usage of the weightbridge and scanners is very important and officers from both countries should be present during scanning and weighing.

According to him, huge resources were expended to train personnel from Nigeria and Benin Republic on the use of these facilities but they are no longer being utilized.

He urged both countries to come out with their challenges so as to enable the ECOWAS make budget for them.

1 thought on “Tinubu to Re-open Seme Land Border for Vehicle Importation

  1. This is a very cheering news. It is a welcome development. Rhe past govt of Buhari used the border closure as a tool to destroy businesses in the Southern part of the country while the very goods he banned were being brought in from the Northern borders. Nothing lasts forever, so has the Buhari era. Importers and exporters can now heave a sigh of relief and economic life restored, and it will go a long way in bringing down prices of food items and vehicles.

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