Nigeria restates the reasons for border closure

nigeria borderMuhammad Buhari, Nigeria’s President, has restated that the closing of the border with the country’s neighbours was in Nigeria’s best interest

“We have saved millions of dollars; we have realised that we don’t have to import rice. We have achieved food security-we have curtailed the importation of drugs and proliferation of small arms which threaten our country.”

Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy and the most prosperous of the 15-member Economic Community of West African states had suddenly closed its border in August 2019 to prevent smuggling of drugs, small arms and agricultural products especially rice, in what analyst felt would be for days but had remained closed ever since.

The Nigerian government had said the saving grace would be the conclusion of a tripartite committee of Nigeria, Benin, Niger with President Buhari saying when the report was ready, Nigeria will implement it.

According to Nigerian officials, it was imperative that it closed those borders, and this time it was when the outgoing President of the ECOWAS Bank for Investment Development Bashir Mamman-Ifo and his successor, Dr George Donkor paid a courtesy visit to the Nigerian President at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

It is not known though when the tripartite committee would submit its report and when the border would be eventually opened but when the Chairman of the tripartite committee visited President Buhari in February, he said the committee would soon submit its report.

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