The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, on Monday, said that the border closure has increased patronage of Nigerian rice and farmers are expanding their farms as well as engaging more hands.
He made the statement when he visited the Seme Border along with Minister of Foreign Affairs Geoffrey Onyeama; Minister of Interior Rauf Aregbesola, Minister of State for Finance, Budget and National Planning Clement Agba, National Security Adviser Babagana Monguno and the Comptroller General of the Nigerian Immigration Service Muhammed Babandede
“Since the closure, the monthly import revenue has increased by15%, instead of dropping as expected in many quarters, while the local consumption of fuel has dropped by 30%, apparently due to reduced smuggling of the products to neighbouring countries
The Minister put the value of items seized since the closure at over N3,500,000,000, listing such items as including 38,743 of 50kg bags of parboiled foreign rice, 514 vehicles, 1,012 drums filled with PMS, 5,400 Jerrycans of vegetable oil, 346 motorcycles, 10,553 Jerrycans of PMS and 136 bags of NPK fertilizer used for making explosives.
”It is important to note that 95 percent of illicit drugs and weapons that are being used for acts of terrorism and kidnapping in Nigeria today come in through our porous borders.
“However, since this partial closure, these acts have been drastically reduced. Our conclusion is that the arms and ammunition these terrorists and criminal elements were using no longer gain access into the country. In addition, the importation of the drugs which affect the well-being of Nigerians have equally been reduced,” Alhaji Mohammed said