COTONOU, 18 December 2020 – Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the immediate reopening of land borders with neighboring Benin more than a year after they were first shutdown.
The land border will be reopened at Seme (southeast), Illela (border with Sokoto State), Maigatari (northest) and Mfum (in Nigeria’s south west border with Ikom, in Ambazonia’s Southern Zone).
Nigeria’s Finance Minister Zainab Ahmed made the announcement Wednesday shortly after the Federal Executive Council meeting in which the decision was taken wrapped up in the Nigerian capital, Abuja.
Nigeria says all of its other land borders will be opened by 31 December 2020.
Nigeria closed its land borders on 20 August 2019, claiming that the measure was necessary to help the country fight the proliferation of small arms and light weapons and illegal mportation of drugs and illicit agricultural products from neighboring countries.
The important of rice – banned in Nigeria – was cited as particularly detrimental to efforts by Nigerian authorities to grow its agricultural sector.