Thursday, June 22, 2023


Nigeria's government has pledged to reopen the Seme border to facilitate the importation of vehicles and other goods from neighboring West African countries. The decision comes in response to complaints from freight forwarders operating at the Seme border and was announced by Ibrahim Musa, the Director of Road Transport in the Ministry of Transportation, during an Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) meeting between Nigerian and Beninese officials.

Musa explained that the former Minister of State for Transportation, in collaboration with the freight forwarders, prepared a memo advocating for the reactivation of the border to enable the free movement of goods and services. The memo was subsequently considered and sent to the government.

Dera Nnadi, the Customs Area Controller of the Seme Border Command, also emphasized the need for the border reopening. He pointed out that the ban on vehicle imports through land borders had led to a decline in revenue for the Nigerian Customs Service. The former Minister of Transportation had promised to present the requests and concerns to the Federal Executive Council (FEC), and Nnadi confirmed that the FEC had adopted the memo and would pass it on to the new government.

The closure of the Seme border had a significant impact on revenue generation for the Nigerian Customs Service, as highlighted by Comptroller Dera Nnadi during a media briefing. Nnadi mentioned the Command's First Quarter (Q1) performance, the handover of counterfeit currency worth $6 million to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and the transfer of other seized items to partner government agencies at Seme, Badagry. He expressed that the Command's revenue from import/export had not been improved since the land borders were reopened, as traders continue to face the challenges of being out of business for over two years.

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