Nigeria reopens four of its land borders

Africa Link Special Reports

(Togo First) - After closing them for more than a year, Nigeria has reopened its land borders. The news, reported by local media, came from President Buhari who approved the immediate reopening of four land borders. 

“In my meeting with State Governors today, I explained that the closure of Nigeria’s land borders was partly an attempt to control the smuggling of weapons & drugs. Now that the message has sunk in with our neighbors, we’re looking into reopening the borders as soon as possible,” said Buhari on December 8, 2020.  The reopening, it should be noted, does not cancel restrictions on imports of products such as rice. 

The four borders concerned are Seme in the southwest, Illela in Sokoto State, Maigatari in the northwest, and Mfun in the south-south. Four more borders should reopen by December 31, 2020, according to the Nigerian minister of finance Zainab Ahmed. 

Let’s recall that Abudja’s unilateral decision (August 2019) to close the borders initially disrupted sectors depending on the Nigerian market. For example, it affected some Togolese exporters of tomatoes. 

Ironically, this decision came in just a few months before the full lockdown -land and air borders- resulting from Covid-19. Regarding land borders, WAEMU states agreed to reopen them in a concerted manner. 

Ayi Renaud Dossavi