Business Hilights
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Benin Republic now key gainer of Nigeria border closure policy—BHIU

After about one year of Nigeria land border closure, a investigative report released by Business Hilights Intelligence Unit (BHIU) weekend in Lagos, has shown that contrary to fears that immediate western neighbour, Benin Republic would lose a lot, its economy has rather gained stringer stability.

It would be recalled the Federal Government of Nigeria, had in an unconventional way and manner, unilaterally shut all land borders in August 2019, with initial claims of drills by joint security agencies including the Nigerian Customs and Immigration Service.

However, as months go by, the same government emerged from its shelves to make clear before Nigerians that the closure would continue so as to tame incessant influx of imported goods from land borders by smuggling rings.

But according to BHIU Report, “The land borders closed by the Nigerian Government in September last year is currently resulting in massive improvement of Benin economy, especially its currency which has appreciated in double fold within the period under review.”

“Before the border closure, Nigeria Naira was 2700 CFA to N1000. Immediately the border was closed, the Benin Republic CFA started appreciating, now its 1250 CFA to N1000.

“For the first time in the history of Nigeria and Benin Republic, their Currencies have not only equalled in value, but that of Benin Republic has taken over.

“On shutting the borders, there were claims at government quarters and their agencies land borders, especially Seme Border account for over 50% influx of goods into Nigeria, and that Benin Republic will not survive it within few months of the closure. With latest facts on ground between Nigeria and Benin Republic, the entire theories have failed,” BHIU Report said.

“On the other hand, sadly, smuggled goods especially bags of rice (50kg) are still flooding the Nigerian markers, while Nigerian importers and exporters are groaning in pains and loss of money and businesses.

“Another shocking fact on border closure between Nigeria and Benin Republic is the ravaging Covid19 pandemic in Nigeria which seems not to be doing same in Benin Republic considering the fact that there is no lockdown or restrictions of businesses, everything is going on normal.

Business Hilights recalls that as at March 23, the Federal Government reinforced land border closure especially against Benin Republic to curb the spread of coronavirus as Africa’s most populous country recorded its first death from the pandemic.

Boss Mustapha, secretary to the government, said the closure would last for four weeks.