Nigeria refuses to open border despite announcing its reopening last Friday, here’s why

The Nigerian government has failed to open its border with Benin as promised last week Friday after months of closure.

Nigeria refuses to open border despite announcing its reopening last Friday, here’s why

This follows a memo signed and released by the Comptroller of Nigeria Immigration Service, Victor David Dimka last week disclosing that the government will open the border on Friday, January 31, 2020.

Despite the announcement, the Nigerian government failed to open the border.

No reason has, currently, been given to traders who work on the border.

GUTA’s reaction following the announcement of the reopening

The Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) in reaction said they are looking forward to the opening of the Nigerian border for trade activities to return to normalcy.

The General Secretary of GUTA, Alpha Shaban said a reopening will come as a huge relief for traders in the sub-region.

“If they open the border it will be good for us all. Every member country is a sovereign country and every country has its law. Therefore, it is the responsibility of that country to protect their industry as well as the traders. Even though it has affected us seriously it is because some of our people are working with loans and that is why we are complaining," GUTA explained.

Adding that “But if they open the border, it will be good for us all because it is negatively affecting the ECOWAS agreement of free movement of people and services.”

Background

The Nigerian government in August last year closed its borders to Benin and by extension, other West African countries, as part of measures to prevent the smuggling of cheap goods and weapons into the country.

The blockade has had a ripple effect on trade in the West African sub-region; compelling some to use alternative routes for their exports.

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