NESG demands reopening of Nigeria’s land border

Nigeria's North East border compromised — Customs officer 

 

The Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), has charged the Federal Government to speed up plans of reopening closed land borders.

The group in a statement titled “Matters of Urgency” said expedited actions should be taken on the closed borders given its negative impact on trade and employment.

“It must be noted that our work in ECOWAS should not be limited to security and diplomacy, but must also effectively harness trade opportunities within the sub-region.

“We also call on the government to ratify the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), so that we can move to full membership status and take our rightful place in subsequent negotiation rounds,” the group said.

President Muhammadu Buhari ordered the closure of Nigeria’s land borders with neighbouring Benin in August 2019 to curb smuggling.

The government said that all imports should come through the country’s seaports where they can be monitored more easily and generate much-needed revenue.

The action generated mixed reactions with officials of neighbouring countries arguing that the border closure was against commercial and freedom of movement treaties signed under the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).