Arrangements are on the way to re-open Nigerian borders that have remained closed by President Buhari since August 2019. The Federal Government’s plan to re-open the borders was disclosed by the Special Assistant to the President of Nigeria @MBuhari on Digital & News Media.
The statements which was posted on the Digital and News Media Assistant’s twitter handle read:
“Min of Finance, on Land Border Reopening: We‘ve reached a reasonable level of understanding with our neighbors; a clear commitment to complying with the trade protocols they were previously abusing. The final decision will be made by Mr. President, once this pandemic is over.”
Recall that In August 2019, President Muhammadu Buhari had ordered closure of Nigeria’s land border with Benin Republic, preventing the import of goods. The move significantly affected trade in foodstuffs, which had already been affected by various past import restrictions. This move according to the presidency was part of an effort to tackle smuggling and associated corruption, but also to spur the domestic agricultural industry.
On October 14, the Nigerian presidency further ordered closures of all Nigeria’s borders with Benin, as well as those with all other countries, for the same reasons given above.
With the market for smuggled food now restricted, domestic food prices—already high—skyrocketed, and the economy of neighbouring Benin—a staging area for smuggling into Nigeria—has been devastated. Imports into Nigeria were to come through sea ports, where customs duties were to be imposed more easily than at land borders. Nigeria’s vital oil exports were not affected by the policy.
These land borders remained closed In spite of enormous outcry and criticisms from different kinds of pressure groups, stake holders and the Nigerian masses for the opening of the borders, the presidency had maintained adamancy until now.
Nigerians are in high hope and expectations for when the borders will be re-opened as that will obviously trigger economic recovery for Nigeria.
Report by Obinna Ejianya @obinna_ejianya
9News Nigeria – Australia