Nigerian Land Borders: Buhari Orders Customs to Re-open Four Borders To Revive Trade|nigeria news today headlines update today

Nigerian Land Borders: Buhari Orders Customs to Re-open Four Borders To Revive Trade

In August 2019, the Nigerian government took border communities and West African trading partners by surprise when the president ordered the closure its land borders with neighbouring Benin, Cameroon, Chad and Niger. While people were allowed to pass through, the movement of goods was blocked.

The Nigeria Customs Service has announced the reopening of four additional land borders across the country.

President Muhammadu Buhari’s goal was to prevent the smuggling of rice and other food items into Nigeria, which the government claimed diminished local production. The government hoped to encourage Nigerians to purchase local agricultural products, especially rice, in a boost for Nigeria Agricultural sector and to help indigenous farmers.

Nigerian Land Borders: Buhari Orders Customs to Re-open Four Borders To Revive Trade|nigeria news today headlines update today
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“Buy Nigerian” became Buhari’s mantra, as he saw the idea as a way of diversifying the economy from overdependent on oil. But in December 2021,the government finally reopened border posts, while keeping in place some restrictions on rice and other goods, after it became clear that the closures had not achieved any of its goals.

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However, the customs in a circular issued by the Deputy Comptroller-General (EI&I), EI Edorhe, dated April 22, 2022, further announced that the Idiroko border post in Ogun State,  Jibiya in Katsina, Kamba in Kebbi and Ikom in Cross River had all been approved for immediate reopening.

“Consequently, all customs formations and JBPTs are to take note and ensure that proper manning takes place in compliance with extant operational guidelines.”

The Benin-Nigeria border’s porosity, with numerous informal routes beyond the reach of customs and immigration officials on both sides, enables individuals and networks to smuggle goods without detection. The border is over 780 km long and often passes through thick forests and rivers that provide cover for smugglers.

Many of the movements occur around the Okpara River and forest areas in the Borgou Department of Benin, the Porto-Novo Lagoon in Benin to Badagry in Nigeria, and the swampy areas in Benin’s Ouémé Department.

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By Azeez Owolabi

ECHONEWSNG.COM

 

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