The Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANCLA) on Monday said over 500 trucks loaded with perishable goods were stranded at Seme following the partial closure of the border.
The Seme Border Chapter Chairman of ANLCA, Bisiriyu Fanu, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Seme that the stranded goods belonged to genuine importers who had paid government duties but got stuck by the partial border closure.
“At present, we have over 500 trucks loaded with goods parked at the border post due to the partial closure and this is telling much on our economy.
“These importers have paid their duties to the government and were expected to take their goods through the border when their trucks got stuck by the government policy on closure of land borders,” he said.
According to him, the partial border closure is impacting negatively on the nation’s economy.
“The impact of the closure is enormous, if you go to some markets in Lagos like Balogun, Idumagbo, Idumota and Oyingbo, people from neighbouring countries who always patronize them are no more coming.
“Everything as at now is at stand still even in Lagos markets,” the freight forwarder said.
Mr Fanu urged the federal government to take physical examination of the trucks at the border post and allow them into the country.
“Innocent Nigerians and genuine traders that have their goods at the border post for 34 days at the border are suffering.
“We are appealing to government to free the trucks so that the importers will have access to their goods.
“We are begging the government to release the trailers so that the people that borrowed money from banks will be able to pay back the loan and still remain in business,” he said.
NAN reports that the joint-border security exercise, code-named ‘Ex-Swift Response’, was ordered by the federal government and was aimed at securing Nigeria’s land and maritime borders.
The exercise commenced on August 19 and was being jointly conducted by the customs, immigration, police and military personnel and coordinated by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA).