The closure of borders in the northern region, attributed to the ongoing crisis in Niger Republic, has led to Northern traders expressing their distress over the loss of approximately N13 billion on a weekly basis.

According to a report by Daily Trust, President Bola Tinubu issued an order on August 4 to close all borders with Niger Republic, a directive that has now been enforced by Nigerian Customs. The affected borders include Jibiya in Katsina state, Illelah in Sokoto, and Maigatari in Jigawa.

During a press conference held in Abuja on Sunday, Ibrahim Yahaya Dandakata, the chairman of Arewa Economic Forum, conveyed that the economic repercussions of this border closure are becoming increasingly unmanageable for traders. He urged the federal government to reopen the maje-illo border in Kebbi, which would enable traders to import goods into the country.

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Dandakata stated, “Since the issuance of the President’s order to close all borders with Niger Republic following the announcement of the coup, the consequences have been substantial, resulting in a weekly loss of N13 billion for Northern traders. Trade between Niger and Nigeria, particularly involving perishable goods, is largely informal. Just last year, the estimated value of goods and services, such as livestock and food items, amounted to about N177 billion.”

He further emphasized, “Continued closure of the border will severely impact the significant trade between these two nations. Therefore, we appeal to President Tinubu to reopen the maje-illo border in Kebbi state, facilitating the import of goods and subsequently empowering customs to collect import duties.”

Adding to the discussion, Hamza Saleh Jibiya, a trader and member of the forum, shared that since the border closure, around 2,000 containers containing both perishable and non-perishable goods have been trapped and unable to be cleared. These containers hold an estimated collective value of N140 billion, with each container ranging in worth from $20,000 to $70,000.

Jibiya stressed, “Our current appeal to the federal government is to promptly reopen the maje-illo border in Kebbi, allowing us to sustain our business operations.”


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