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January 24, 2021

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The Joint Border Patrol Teams (JBPT) put in place to enforce movement restrictions during the 16-month border closure are still in operation in Seme, seven days after the reopening of the border.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Nigerian government had set up the JBPT, comprising police, military, immigration, customs and civil defence, to enforce movement restrictions and curb activities of smugglers when the land borders were partially closed in August 2019.

A NAN correspondent, who monitored activities in the area, reports that the JBPTs were still in full operation at Owode and Seme land borders on Wednesday.

NAN reports that operatives of the JBPT were also seen at Gbaji junction, while their teams maintained several other checkpoints along Badagry-Seme expressway.

A member of the JBPT, who pleaded anonymity, told NAN there was no directive from Abuja to disband the joint task force, seven days after the reopening of the land borders.

NAN reports that the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, on December 16, announced the immediate reopening of four land borders after the Federal Executive Council meeting held virtually in Abuja.

The Buhari-led administration had on August 21, 2019, ordered the closure of Nigerian borders to curb smuggling of goods and weapons.

(NAN)

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