President Muhammadu Buhari said Friday in Abuja that the issue of partial closure of Nigeria’s land border to goods from neighbouring countries was purely to safeguard national security.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, quoted the President to have stated when he received President Roch Marc Christian Kabore of Burkina Faso at the Presidential Villa.
Buhari said that the issues would be determined by the report of a tripartite committee made up of Nigeria, Benin and Niger Republic.
“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 would find an early and enduring solution.
“I will work as fast as I can as soon as I receive the report,’’ the President added.
The President of Burkina Faso had 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.
The President of Burkina Faso is the Chairman of the ECOWAS Committee mandated to resolve the issue of border closure.