Nigeria to re-open 4 land borders soon

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By Alexander Nyarko Yeboah

Tema Dec 17, Gitficonline—The Federal Republic of Nigeria has given an indication that it would soon re-open four of her closed borders which is good news for traders and businesses.

The decision which comes more than a year since Nigeria closed her land borders to check smuggling of goods, will come into force on the 31st of December, 2020.

The Nigerian government approved the reopening of the Seme borders in the South West, the Illela and Maigatari border in the North West and the Mfun border in the South South in a cabinet session as reported by Joy Business News.

Nigeria closed her land borders last year to check smuggling of goods, mostly rice and arms, which Nigeria said had threatened efforts to boost local production and security.

That notwithstanding, souring prices of goods which has pushed inflation up to a 30-month high, has forced the Nigerian government to reconsider the policy.

Nigeria, the largest economy in Africa, has been going through rough times due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Heavily dependent on crude oil exports, the country is expected to record a negative growth for this year, which has thrown the economy into recession.

The closure of the Nigeria-Benin border affected Ghanaian exporters who complained sternly over its effects on trading activities.

In an interview with Joy Business News which was picked by gitficonline, the President of the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA), Dr. Joseph Obeng, said the closure of the borders should be a lesson to Nigeria because of its negative effects on her economy.

“Nigeria has just realized that it cannot live in isolation and that the opening of its borders is only at the instance of their citizenry who have come under a lot of pressure and suffering as a result of the closure. I’ve told you before that the goods that were locked up even at Benin, most of these goods belonged to Nigerians who have to come to other West African countries to buy their goods,” Dr. Obeng said.

The GUTA president added that, “its economy is trembling. Nigeria is in recession; its actions has affected them negatively. This decision to reopen borders further confirms my argument that no country can operate or trade in isolation. It must be a lesson to them.”

This comes as a welcoming news to Ghanaian traders and businesses who could now do business with the West African country.

The actions of the Nigerian government is expected since it could not continue to close her borders in the coming into force of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement come January 1, 2021.

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