Panel on borders submits report
Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, yesterday, disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari will soon receive the report of a presidential committee set up to advise the presidency on the nation’s borders.
Ahmed spoke while responding to a question on when the borders would be reopened at the end of the Federal Executive Council meeting but did not give a specific date on the reopening of the nation’s land borders.
Her words: “The President set up the committee that I chair, alongside the minister of Foreign Affairs and Interior, as well as the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) and security services to review and advise him on border closure.
“The committee has completed its work and we will be submitting our report. I’ve signed my copy and I have given every one to sign between today and tomorrow so that we submit the report to Mr. President.”
She, however, explained that the committee had done an assessment of the gains of the closure and had recommended to the President the need to reopen the borders.
Ahmed, who had hinted that the borders would be reopened soon during a roundtable at the 26th Nigerian Economic Summit, said once members of the committee signed the report, it would be submitted to President Buhari.
Nigeria, being the largest economy of the 15-member Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), closed its land borders in August last year due to illegal importation of drugs, small arms, and agricultural products into the country from neighbouring West African countries.