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Idiroko border reopening video from 2022 not 2023, says Nigeria Customs Service

IN SHORT: As Nigeria transitions into a new government, claims about the achievements of the incoming leadership are already being made. But the evidence does not stand up to close scrutiny.

A video circulating on Facebook in June 2023 in Nigeria claims that the Idiroko border crossing in the southwestern state of Ogun has been reopened for business by the government of newly inaugurated president Bola Tinubu.

Idiroko is on the border between Nigeria and Benin.

Nigeria’s land borders were closed in August 2019 on the orders of former president Muhammadu Buhari.

Officials said the border closure was aimed at boosting local food production and curbing the smuggling of arms and illegal drugs into Nigeria from neighbouring countries.

The video shows men in what appear to be security uniforms, opening a gate. The caption reads: “Idi Iroko National Border Opened Today.”

We found other instances of the claim on Facebook here, here, here and here.

But was the Idiroko border opened by the Tinubu administration, which took office in May 2023? We checked.


Idiroko border reopened in 2022

Local media reported that Buhari had ordered Idiroko and three others to be reopened in April 2022.

The same video in the Facebook post was shared on YouTube on 26 April. 

The Nigeria Customs Service is responsible for revenue collection, international trade and the fight against smuggling in the country.

Bamidele Makinde, a top customs official in Ogun, told the media that the viral video was from 2022, when the border first reopened.

He said Idiroko was the only border open in Ogun state.

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