The West African corridor travel has been disrupted by the sudden closure of Nigeria – Benin Republic border at Seme by Nigerian authorities without any prior notice. People and vehicular traffic have piled up on both sides awaiting the opening of the ever-busy border crossing point near Badagry.
The Seme Border, the busiest land crossing in Nigeria, was shut on Tuesday after some truckloads of prohibited tramadol and codeine were intercepted in Lagos on August 16.
The closure continued on Wednesday morning, with Nigerians streaming towards their country’s border from Benin Republic hoping they would be allowed into their country.
Benin Republic traders who had entered Nigeria to supply goods in Lagos were also stranded and prevented from returning to their country.
Many of those affected by the closure have taken to social media to protest their discomfort asking that the authorities should effect the re-opening of the major trade corridor immediately.
Sunday James, a spokesperson for the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), did not immediately return requests for comments. But the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) said an ongoing joint security exercise caused the disruption.
The official was unable to clarify why there was no formal announcement about the planned security exercise that was capable of causing such interruption to persons and businesses across the sub-region.