Border closure: Emefiele says Benin, others must engage Nigeria before borders are reopened

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele has stated that Nigeria’s economy is better off with its borders closed.

He said this after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, noting that opening the border exposed the country to substandard products, thereby turning it into a dumping ground for foreign markets.

The Details: He insisted that for the borders to be reopened, other neighbouring countries, Republic of Benin inclusive, must engage Nigeria in talks.

He explained that Nigeria was doing just fine with the borders closed. He also added that the closure of the border is an avenue for Nigerian produced goods like rice and poultry to thrive and for more jobs to be created.

Recall that the Federal Government of Nigeria ordered the complete closure of the Nigerian land borders, placing a ban on both legitimate and illegitimate movement of goods in and out of the country.

This was after the President announced the partial closure of the Nigeria-Benin border on August 20th with the exercise code-named, ‘Ex-Swift Response’. The measure was taken to restrict the massive illegal importation of rice into Nigeria and ensure trans-border security issues.

In a recent development, the Republic of Ghana, through its Foreign Minister and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, begged Nigeria to re-open its borders. Ghana said it had been heavily affected by Nigeria’s decision to close its borders.

Botchwey stated that Ghana was determined to make Nigeria rescind its decision by exploiting diplomatic avenues. She was optimistic that Nigeria would re-open its Western borders for free flow of goods from Ghana to the subregion.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) also said the continuous closure of the Nigerian borders was hurting the economies of Benin and Niger Republics.

[READ ALSO: Border Closure: Ghana trade Union wants to snub made in Nigeria goods]

The disclosure was made by the Director, African Department, IMF, Abebe Selassie, at a media briefing on the sidelines of the World Bank/IMF Annual Meetings in Washington D.C where he hoped that the issue would be resolved with immediate effect.

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