President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday met behind closed-door with his Burkinabe counterpart, Roch Marc Christian Kabore, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
President Buhari, according to a statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said the reopening of the Nigerian border with neighbouring countries would be determined by the report of tripartite committee comprising Nigeria, Benin, and Niger Republic.
The President told Kabore, who is the Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States, (ECOWAS) Committee mandated to resolve the issue of border closure, that Nigeria’s decision to partially close the border was basically to safeguard national security.
He said: “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.”
President Buhari said Nigeria was mindful of the concerns of neighbouring countries on the matter, adding that his administration would find an early and enduring solution.
He added: “I will work as fast as I can as soon as I receive the report.”
The Burkinabe leader told President Buhari that he came to Nigeria 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.
He urged President Buhari to reconsider the country’s position on the matter.
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