Nigeria’s land border with Benin Republic at Seme, near Badagry, Lagos State, remained closed, more than a day after the Federal Government announced its reopening on Wednesday.
Recall that the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, on Wednesday announced the immediate reopening of four land borders after the Federal Executive Council meeting held virtually in Abuja.
A correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), who visited Seme on Thursday evening, reports that human and vehicular movement across the border post was restricted as the frontier remained under lock.
Intending travellers were denied exit at Seme by officials of Nigeria Immigration Service who claimed that they were yet to get the formal directive to reopen the border.
An official of Nigeria Customs Service, who pleaded anonymity, told NAN that security agencies at the border post were still expecting official directives to reopen the border.
He said, “We heard about the reopening of the four land borders from the news on Wednesday, but we are still waiting for directives from the head office in Abuja.
“We can’t just open the border like that. As you can see, when the border was closed, they introduced Joint Border Patrol which comprises Army, Immigration, Police and Customs.
“Anytime they ask us to open the border, we will open it,” he added.
NAN also reports that movement restrictions and checking of goods and vehicles remained in place at more than 20 checkpoints mounted by Customs, Immigration and Police along Badagry Expressway.
Also, commercial activities were yet to pick up at the Seme market due to the continued closure of the border.
A trader at the popular Seme market, Mrs Funke Senapon, appealed to the Federal Government to order the officials to reopen the border.
She said that residents and traders who were rejoicing about the news of the reopening were disappointed when they discovered that the border had not been opened.