Nigerian Government Set to Reopen Seme Land Border for Vehicle Imports, Addressing Freight Forwarders’ Concerns

Nigerian Government Set to Reopen Seme Land Border for Vehicle Imports, Addressing Freight Forwarders’ Concerns

…By Enitan Thompson for TDPel Media.

The Federal Government of Nigeria has addressed the concerns raised by freight forwarders and is taking steps to reopen the Seme land border for the importation of vehicles.

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It is important to note that the Nigerian government had previously ordered the closure of the country’s borders on August 21, 2019, in order to combat the smuggling of goods and weapons.

The abrupt closure of the Seme border in Lagos, which connects Nigeria with neighboring West African countries, had been a cause for distress among many Nigerians.

This unexpected move left several individuals, including traders from the Benin Republic who were visiting Nigeria, stranded at the border.

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However, after four years of closure, Ibrahim Musa, the Director of Road Transport in the Ministry of Transportation, recently announced that the government has approved the reopening of the Seme border after careful considerations.

Musa made this announcement during an Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) meeting between Nigerian and Benin Republic officials.

Musa stated, “I was present when the freight forwarders appealed for the reactivation of the border to facilitate the free movement of goods and services.

The former Minister of State for Transportation instructed us to prepare a memo on this matter, which was duly considered and sent to the government.”

Expressing concerns about the impact of the border closure on revenue, Dera Nnadi, the Customs Area Controller of Seme Border Command, highlighted a decline in the Customs Service’s earnings since the suspension of vehicle imports through land borders during the previous administration.

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Nnadi remarked, “In response to our requests and those from stakeholders, the former Minister of Transportation pledged to bring them before the Federal Executive Council (FEC).

One of the requests was the full reopening of this border.

The Ministry has informed us that the memo has been submitted to FEC, approved, and will be handed over to the new government.

We were assured that all our requests were taken into consideration.”

In conclusion, the Nigerian government has taken into account the complaints raised by freight forwarders and is working towards reopening the Seme land border for vehicle imports.

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This decision comes after a four-year closure period and follows consultations and considerations by relevant authorities.

The reopening is expected to facilitate the movement of goods and services while addressing the decline in revenue associated with the suspension of vehicle imports through land borders.

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