Reopen Liboi border point for trade - MP

Dadaab MP Mohamed Dahiye speaks to the press at the Liboi border point yesterday / STEPHEN ASTARIKO
Dadaab MP Mohamed Dahiye speaks to the press at the Liboi border point yesterday / STEPHEN ASTARIKO

Dadaab MP Mohamed Dahiye has urged the government to reopen the customs and immigration border point in Liboi to monitor the movement of people and goods from Somalia.

Speaking to reporters

yesterday on the border pont, Dahiye said the government is losing millions of shillings as a result of the continued closure of the checkpoint.

The

checkpoint, less than a kilometre from Doble in Somalia, was closed 10 years ago for refurbishment but has since stalled.

The government allocated the project Sh300 million.

The initial plan was to have a fully-equipped boarder control unit, with immigration officers, custom, revenue team and police.

The project was expected to refurbish immigration and administration office blocks as well as residential houses.

These were the houses those expected to fight smuggling would work from and live in.

Dahiye said the continued closure of the border was only on paper but in the real sense, it has remained open through use of illegal routes.

He said there is a wide divide between what government officials say and what actually happens on the ground.

“People are bringing in goods, vehicles and all sorts of

things and the government is not getting any revenue. This is despite Liboi being gazetted as a customs and immigration point,”

he said.

Dahiye said the government should engage Somalia and have the border opened.

“Our people largely depend on

business and trade

for their livelihood. We should, therefore, facilitate this trade and movement of goods and people across the border and get revenue in the process,” the MP said.

He appealed to President Uhuru Kenyatta to intervene and have the project completed and the checkpoint used for its intended purpose.

“It’s not in the interest of our people and the government for the this border to remain closed when it is actually open to smugglers. Our worry as leaders is the revenue we are losing,”

he said.

Residents of Liboi told reporters the town was nearing collapse because business is very low.

If the government officially opens this border, more job opportunities will be created as well as

trade between Kenya and Somalia,”

Abdi Osman, a Liboi town resident, said.