CBN gives Niger, Benin, others conditions for reopening land borders
Strong indications emerged Monday that chances of reopening closed Nigeria land borders in the nearest future remains bleak as far as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is concerned.
Speaking to top media executives on Monday in Abuja, the Governor of the bank, Mr Godwin Emefiele, insisted that there are clear terms and conditions neighbouring countries including Niger, Benin, Cameroon and others on the West coast must meet.
He added that ahead of meeting the conditions, “There must concrete engagement with bordering nations where issue relating to using their ports for Nigeria-bound goods before the Nigerian border is reopened.”
Business Hilights recalls that land borders was closed initially on the pretext that both Customs and Immigration officials are on a 28 joint drill which cannot allow them to man the borders until after 28 days.
However, after 28 days, the Federal Government started to change the narrative that activities of smugglers powered by certain import polices of neighbouring economies are hurting the economy hence the need to continue the border closure pending when the economies will being to keep terms handed over to them.
Though Emefiele failed to list the exact conditions given to neighbouring nations before borders can be opened, an inside source confided in Business Hilights that “Part of the conditions are that no neighbouring country shall allow the berthing of goods clearly known that its original destination is Nigeria.
“You know that there are so many importers some of them Nigerians who import ship-load of goods especially rice meant for Nigeria in both Cameroon and Benin Republic. That is what government to put a stop.”
In his further defense for the closure, CBN chief claimed that contrary to viral outcries on the inflation and jumping costs of living arising from the closure, the Nigerian economy is doing well with the closure of its borders.
According to him, border closure is helping to create more jobs for Nigerians, while local producers of rice, and poultry, among others, are now able to sell their goods.
He was silent on the sufferings of Nigerian manufacturers who cannot distribute their products across the ECOWAS and Central Africa Regional markets since August 21, 2019 the borders were shut.