President Muhammadu Buhari has cited massive smuggling activities, especially of rice, as reasons why the Nigeria/Benin Republic border was partially closed.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria, the restriction at Seme followed the joint border security exercise ordered by the government and aimed at securing Nigeria’s land and maritime borders.
Buhari said this on Wednesday while speaking with his Beninois counterpart, Patrice Talon, who are both currently attending the Seventh Tokyo International Conference for African Development (TICAD7), in Yokohama, Japan.
According to Buhari, the partial closure of the border was to allow Nigeria’s security forces develop a strategy on how to stem the dangerous trend and its wider ramifications.
President Talon in response described the scale of suffering caused by the closure, to this President Buhari said he had taken note and would reconsider reopening in the not too distant future.