Nigerian traders criticise border closure, Benin counterparts fear to speak

The border has been closed since August this year

Traders in Nigeria have lamented about the adverse effects of the closure of their country’s border on their businesses. 

This follows orders from Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari to close down the Nigerian border which serves as the heart for cross country activities. 

A visit to the Benin border by Joy News’ Head of security desk, Gifty Andoh Appiah, revealed how Benin nationals fear to speak on the matter, while their Nigerian counterparts boldly criticized their country for the closure of the border. 

According to the World Bank, Benin’s economy relies heavily on the informal re-export and transit trade with Nigeria, which accounts for about 20% of its GDP, or national income. 

“It’s affecting us in the diaspora that are doing one business or the other. I want to see the border opened as soon as possible,” one of the Nigerian traders said.

The closures were imposed without warning on August 21 and Nigeria’s neighbours are angry. 

But then, traders who use the border say, the closure has lasted a little over three months. However, the exact time the order was made by Buhari is still unclear. 

“The border closure has been affecting us. Before the border closure, our goods had been coming in easily but since the closure, nothing is working again,” a trader complained. 

In the midst of this, some Ghanaians have found alternative routes to export their goods into Nigeria. 

Authorities in Ghana have had several meetings with their Nigerian colleagues as Ghanaian businesses continuously grieve about the negative he impact on their businesses.

Meanwhile, President Nana Akufo-Addo is hopeful ongoing talks between Nigeria and Ghana would resolve the impasse with the West African giant’s closure of its western borders. 

Addressing to a delegation from FBN Holdings, FirstBank of Nigeria and FBNBank Ghana, Akufo-Addo noted “there’s a lot of room for continuing talks between” Nigeria and Ghana in order for a breakthrough to be reached. 

In a separate development, Member of Parliament for Bawku Central, Mahama Ayariga, has linked the recent closure of shops owned by foreigners in Kumasi to the closure of Nigerian borders to Ghanaian traders. 

He believes Ghanaian traders have resorted to such action in protest of government’s failure to deal with the situation. 

The Bawku Central Legislator argues that until Nigeria adheres to the ECOWAS protocol, there would be a pocket of reprisals from the affected countries.

Source: Myjoyonline.com

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