(Ecofin Agency) - The government of Nigeria is keeping its land borders closed until the end of January 2020, official sources said.
In a statement published on November 1, the government announced that this measure adopted a few months ago was bearing good fruits, and this motivated the extension decision. “I am directed to inform you that it is observed that despite the overwhelming success of the operation, particularly the security and economic benefits to the nation, a few strategic objectives are yet to be achieved. Against this background, Mr. President has approved an extension of the exercise to January 31, 2020,” the document reads.
While this announcement ruins hopes of border reopening before the end of 2019, this is the first time the Nigerian government has set a deadline for the end of the measure, since it affects all goods moving on either side of the country’s land borders. A few weeks ago, Colonel Hameed Ali, Comptroller General of Customs, said that the country would continue the measure until the “expected results” were achieved.
As a reminder, Nigeria closed its borders to combat foodstuff smuggling, particularly rice mainly via its border with Benin. No agreement has yet been announced between Nigeria and its neighbors to lift the measure that is already affecting the activities of many West African traders.
Moutiou Adjibi Nourou