President Muhammadu Buhari has observed that the partial closure of Nigeria’s land borders has help to reduce the influx of illegal arms and ammunition, used in banditry.
President Buhari stated this on Friday when he received the President Roch Marc Christian Kabore of Burkina Faso at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
The Burkina Faso President is the chairm an of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Committee mandated to resolve the issue of border closure between Nigeria and her neighbours.
President Buhari, according to a statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, however said the decision to take any step on the situation would only be determined by report of tripartite committee made up of Nigeria, Benin and Niger Republic.
The President explained to his guest that Nigeria’s decision to partially close the borders to goods from neighbouring countries was purely to safeguard national security.
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“Our major problem is security — the inflow of weapons, ammunition and drugs. We have witnessed a decline in banditry using such weapons since the partial closure of the border. Also, our farmers are now able to sell their rice since we stopped the inflow of foreign rice, usually dumped in the country,’’ he said.
President Buhari said Nigeria was very much mindful of the concerns of neighbouring countries on the issue, assuring that his administration will find an early and enduring solution.
“I will work as fast as I can as soon as I receive the report,’’ the President added.
Earlier, the President of Burkina Faso told President Buhari that he came on the visit, following the mandate of ECOWAS to resolve the issues that culminated in the partial closure of the border, adding that some of the challenges had been discussed, and agreed on, urging the Nigerian leader to reconsider the position of the country.