Minister of Interior, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, says importation of rice and other contraband items remain banned inspite of the reopening of the nation’s land borders.
He said with the deployment of technology in some of Nigeria’s borders, no one would enter the country with a hidden identity.
Aregbesola, who spoke with newsmen in Ilesa on Saturday, explained that the need for proper documentation of movement in and out of the country led to the deployment of technology at the borders.
The minister said, “We have deployed technology which is called MINDARS – Migration Information Data Analysis System in the four borders we reopened.
“MINDARS will register whoever passes, either a Nigerian or non-Nigerian across our borders and once you have registered, it is for life. It will take biometric, photographs, names, and other details in a central database. Nobody can now be anonymous through our border posts.”
Aregbesola added that the reopening was for movement of people, goods, and services originating from the region of West Africa for trading purposes.
“Items that we banned are foreign items. Parboiled rice is only eaten in Nigeria in the entire West of Africa. The border reopening does not in any way affect the banned items. Like poultry, rice and other contraband such as psychotropic drugs, arms and ammunition, money laundering and others they are criminal,” he said.
The ex-Osun state governor, when asked about the recent meeting he had with his successor, Adegboyega Oyetola, ex-governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu, at the residence of Chief Bisi Akande in Ila, Aregbesola said he had no rift with Oyetola.
He said the meeting was not to settle any rift, noting that his being away from the state was to allow the new governor to settle down in office.
The minister said, “I have clarified this to the world, I don’t have any rift with anybody. I’ve been away from here for a while simply to allow the new governor to settle down.
“With what I see, our party remains strong and my having to be more here is to strengthen the party through healthy mobilisation. My party is my party.”