Importers of perishable goods whose imports are trapped at Seme Border post are lamenting their losses following the sudden tightening of the border post.
The Federal Government had ordered the tightening of movements at the border posts as part of measures to checking heightened insecurity in the country.
A report by Shipping News, an online shipping news platform, indicates that hundreds of Nigerians and others from the neighbouring Benin Republic who have been trapped along with their goods.
Seme border is the border post between Nigeria and Benin Republic, which has a vibrant port that is the preferred destination of many Nigerian importers.
Some of those affected were particularly worried that they will lose their perishable goods on transit.
Shipping news correspondent who visited the border saw hundreds of Nigerians and others staying at border areas as they were nor allowed to cross over.
Those who were allowed to cross the border were mainly those who could produce international passport.
The order to close the border was aimed at checking issues of smuggling and other criminal activities from neighbouring country into Nigeria.
The Government had Tuesday announced the measure to close the nation’s land borders.
Operatives of the Police, Nigeria Customs Service and Immigration Service are enforcing the order.
Foreigners who were allowed to cross the border were required to submit photocopies of their travelling documents to show that they have genuine business in Nigeria.
Affected travelers said the closure was against the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) treaty which allows movement from one country to another with the sub-region.
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Nigeria Police Force (NPF) and the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) had launched a joint operation exercise to address issues of insecurity in the nation’s border stations.
Code-named Ex-Swift Response , the joint operation will tackle all security issues in border areas.
Public Relations officer of the Customs Service, Mr Joseph Attah in a statement said the security measure is being coordinated by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA).
Attah explained that the security measure will take place in the South-South, South-West, North-Central and North-West.
According to Attah, “It is expected that the exercise will promote inter-agency cooperation and increase preparedness to address trans-border security challenges such as terrorism, armed banditry, smuggling, proliferation of small arms and light weapons, amongst others”.
He added that the exercise will involve the movement of personnel, vehicles and equipment within the affected parts of the country.
He called on members of the public not to panic on noticing such movement.