The Federal Government on Friday inaugurated three projects executed by the Federal Ministry of Transportation worth N300.67 million at the Seme-Krake Joint Border Post, Lagos.
Inaugurating the projects, Prince Ademola Adegoroye, the Minister of State for Transportation, said the projects would provide a more conducive environment and enhance the performance of agencies working there.
According to him, Sème border has remained a symbol of integration that brings together the people of Nigeria and Benin Republic, aimed at enhancing free movement of persons and goods in the region.
“The three projects executed by the ministry has engulfed over N300,670,394:86 only in addition to 10 air-conditioners that were earlier supplied and installed at the offices within the premises.
“The additional facilities provided by the ministry which I am inaugurating today includes 20 toilet facilities awarded by the ministry on March 17, 2021 in the sum of N40,609,288 to Messers Zaisah Global Service.
“Roofing of three walkways at Sème-Krake Joint Border Post for arriving and departing passengers from Nigeria and Benin Republic.
“It was awarded on March 11, 2022 in favour of Messers Rock Results Nigeria Ltd., in the sum of N143,202,931 only and completed in August 2022.
“The third project is provision of two solar powered boreholes, water treatment plant and reticulation which was completed in July 2022.
“The contract was awarded by the ministry in favour of Messers Surez Global Resources Nigeria Ltd. at the sum of N119,858,175 only,” he said.
Adegoroye urged the management team of the border to use the facilities judiciously and ensure their maintenance to meet up with the intended usage and service.
Also speaking, the Area Controller, Nigeria Customs Service, Sème Border, Dera Nandi, said the border post was inaugurated in 2018 and served as the trade corridor between the two countries.
“Upon my resumption, I pledged to adopt new strategies to boost trade while enforcing the nation’s anti-smuggling laws along the Abidjan Lagos corridor in line with the ECOWAS protocol on free movement of goods and persons.
“We at the Joint Border Post have promised to encourage compliance traders along the corridor bearing in mind the challenges of the JBP as one that is still recovering from the effects of the border closure,” he said.
Nnadi said that the facilities they had in the building need constant upgrading, adding that the vehicle and trucks parks needed to be paved and flood lights needed to be replaced.
“On our part, effort is being made to remove the unapproved checkpoints along the corridor.
“We thank the Federal Government for the intervention in repairing the road along the corridor leading into the border post,” he said.
Mr Idris Yahaya, the Deputy President, Badagry Chambers of Commerce, Industry Mine and Agriculture (BACCIMA), appealed to the Federal Government to fully open the Seme border for traders and businesses to flow and prosper for the benefit of Nigerians.
Yahaya urged the government to evacuate the illegal checkpoints and maintain the two approved checkpoints at Gbaji and Agbara along Lagos Badagry Expressway.
He appealed to them to officially flag off the long-awaited Badagry Deep Seaport project approved by the government since August 2022.
Alhaji Bisiriyu Fanu, the former Chairman, Association of License Customs Agent, Sème Branch, said since the border was reopened, no activity had been happening there because of government policies.
“The policies the government have put forward could not enable us to patronise this axis, so we are appealing to government to look into the matter now,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that traditional rulers, security agencies, residents of Badagry and Cotonou and other communities around graced the occasion