Following the closure of the Benin-Nigeria border over the Coronavirus, COVID-19 pandemic, cross border trading amongst Africans in the West African sub-region is now experiencing a serious setback.
Hundreds of passengers were stranded in Seme over the weekend as Benin Republic closed its departure and arrival gates as early as 6:00 am last Saturday.
It was noted that indigenes of Benin Republic were allowed to pass through the gate to their country while Nigerians were allowed to go through the gate to Nigeria. However, Ghanaian and Togolese passengers who were stranded at the border post refused to go back to Nigeria.
A senior Immigration officer who did not want his name mentioned, said that Nigeria was not informed before the border was closed. He said that the normal thing was for Benin to inform Nigeria before closing the border, adding that Togo had already closed its borders against Benin Republic.
Some stranded Nigerians going to Benin Republic had to return to their homes in Nigeria after waiting for several hours at the Seme border post.
Reacting to this development, the Chairman of Port Consultative Council, PCC, Otunba Kunle Folarin, said that he was aware of the closure by the Benin Republic authorities saying that they have the prerogative to do that.
Folarin also said that Nigeria closed its border against Benin over cargo movement, while Benin closed its border to curtail human traffic as result of Coronavirus.