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Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Nigeria to Reopen Land Borders Soon – Finance Minister

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Nigeria’s finance Minister Zainab Ahmed has said that President Muhammadu Buhari will soon reopen the borders.
The reopening of the borders is seen as a major step that will help to boost Nigeria’s economy which entered recession the second time in four years after contracting by 3.62 percent in the third quarter.
Nigeria, the largest economy in the 15-member Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), had in August 2019 shut its land borders on account of the proliferation of illegal importation of drugs, small arms and agricultural products from neighboring West African countries.
The closure also caused economic hardships for local manufacturers, as traditional economic activities between Nigeria and its ECOWAS neighbors were disrupted by the policy.
But Minister of Finance Budget and National Planning,  Ahmed,  said the President is expected to receive reports on the border closure any moment.
Ahmed was responding to a question on when Nigerian borders will be reopened at the end of the Federal Executive Council meeting presided over by the President.
According to her, the committee set up by  President Buhari had  done an assessment of the gains of the closure and had recommended to the president to reopen the borders.
Members of the committee include the ministers of finance, budget and national planning, interior and foreign affairs.
Ahmed, had at a roundtable discussion at the 26th Nigerian Economic Summit (NES #26), gave assurance that the borders would be reopened soon.
She had told the audience at the NES #26 that: “We have made an assessment. The president set up a committee and we have made an assessment and all the members of the committee agreed and are recommending to the president that it is time to reopen the borders. The objective has been met in the sense that we have been able, over these couple of months,  to work together with our partners in a tripartite committee and do a joint border patrol together and reinforced the sanctity of the commitments that we made to each other.”
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