If you have been wondering what Nigeria’s decision to close its
borders really means, this article was written for you to solve some quetions about the Nigeria border policy
5 facts About Nigeria Border closure Policy you need to know
Let’s break 5 facts About Nigeria Border Closure policy simple ways.
It’s a temporary policy
At least that is what Nigeria government officials have been saying.
In any case, apart from a few exceptions, no nation closes its border forever. The world is too much of a global village for that sorta protectionist stunt.
Besides, with Nigeria appending its signature to the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), it can’t shutter its walls against its neighbours for too long.
Buhari had said the limited closure of the country’s western border was effected to allow Nigeria’s security forces develop a strategy to curb smuggling from Benin.
The Comptroller-General of Customs, Col Hameed Ali (Rtd), has also just announced that the land borders will remain closed pending when Benin and other neighboring African countries stop taking Nigeria for a smuggling destination.
Ali had added that the closure would remain in place until
neighbouring countries duly comply with the ECOWAS (Economic
Community of West African States) protocols on transit of goods.
So, yeah, this is only a temporary measure from Nigeria.
The air and seas remain open
Only land borders are affected for now. Meaning that you can still import items through Nigeria’s seaports and airports.
Ali says: “All goods for now are banned from being exported or imported through our land borders and that is to ensure that we have total control over what comes in.
Lets Blame it on the rice smugglers?
This policy took off because Nigeria wants indigenous rice farmers to make hay and reap the fruits of their labour, the government says.
Benin became one of the world’s top importers of rice because of its
Nigerian market. Almost all of the rice it imported from Thailand, Indonesia etc found its way to Nigeria through the Seme border.
According to Custom Boss, Ali says the move became necessary to protect Nigerians from all sorts of substandard imported items through the land borders.
This in a way is about curbing the smuggling of rice from Benin because the government wants Nigeria to be able to feed itself and encourage local production of a widely consumed staple.
Nigeria is securing the bag as well
Nigeria says it has made more money since it closed its land borders.
According to customs boss Ali: “What we have discovered is that most of those cargoes that used to go to Benin (Republic), shipped to Benin, and then discharged and smuggled into Nigeria, now that we have closed the border they are forced to bring their goods to either
Apapa or Tin Can Island and we have to collect duty on them.
Benin’s economy is really suffering from this
There have been reports of rotten tomatoes, vegetables and other
goods on the Benin side of the border since the closure. All those goods used to find their way to Nigeria.
Benin With a population of just 11 million, Benin’s economy is hinged on
trade with Nigeria.
Benin used to also serve as a prime destination for the diversion of
Nigeria’s petrol by greedy marketers. Which explains why there are quite a lot of petrol stations around Benin’s border with Nigeria.
Benin is not the only nation affected by Nigeria’s decision to shut its
land borders, however. Niger, Cameroon and Togo are also reeling from the effect of the policy.
The Nigerian government says as soon as these countries prove that
they are willing and ready to curb smuggling, the borders will be
reopened for legitimate business.