After more than one year of closing Nigeria’s land borders, President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday signalled his administration’s readiness to throw them open.
The president gave this indication on Tuesday during a meeting with the 36 state governors to brainstorm on worsening security situations across the country. He explained that the closure of the nation’s land borders was partly an attempt to control the smuggling of weapons and drugs.
Recall that Nigeria’s borders were shut last year August. The reason for the decision, according to the administration, was to curb smuggling and boost local production, while also denying those who use the borders as weapon’s smuggling route a safe passage.
Although the blockade encouraged the consumption of locally grown produce such as rice, it hurt factories across west Africa, which rely on Nigeria’s market of 200 million people.
None of the state governors spoke to State House Correspondents after the meeting which held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The president, however, in a Twitter thread said he challenged state governors to work more with traditional rulers and community members to improve local intelligence gathering that will aid the work of security agencies.
The thread reads, “In my meeting with state governors today, i explained that the closure of Nigeria’s land borders was partly an attempt to control the smuggling in of weapons and drugs. Now that the message has sunk in with our neighbours, we’re looking into reopening the borders as soon as possible”, he said.
On the state of security in the country, the president argued that collaborations of all major stakeholders are needed to to halt the slide into a state of lawlessness.
“Intelligence gathering is very critical to ensuring lasting security in Nigeria. In this regard, everyone has a role to play, in addition to the security agencies: governors, traditional rulers, community leaders, citizens. We must all work together to boost intelligence gathering
“We are investing heavily in weapons ad equipment for our military. They have already received armoured cars and other equipment, and aircraft and more will come in. We will continue to give them all the support they need to fight criminals. We must and will secure Nigeria”, the president concluded.
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