Pros and Cons Of the Closure of Nigeria's Border

The federal government of Nigeria on August 19, 2019, announced the closure of her border with other west African countries. The border was closed due to the illegal smuggling of goods into the county.

The closure received much attention because it came three months after the signing of African Continental free trade agreements with 55 member countries.

The federal government made the decision to reduce corruption in Nigeria custom service. Also, one of the major reasons for the closure was to encourage the growth of local products.

 According to the report, Nigeria's 2017 economy recovery and growth report plan aimed to deepen investment in agriculture and increase sectors' contribution to economic growth from 5% in 2017 to 8.4% by 2020.

To implement the report, which was an effort to revive local farming and reduce food import, the border was closed.

Despite criticism from both consumers and traders, the Nigeria customs service generated N1.002 trillion in 9 months, of which N123.6 billion were recorded in 4 months.

The public relations officer of the Nigeria custom Service confirmed that the revenue was generated from 32 commands.

To worsen the criticism for the border closure, Comptroller-General of Customs Ali Hameed on Nov. 3rd  announced the extension of the closure till January 2020; and will only be opened if the objectives for the closure are met. This announcement was made despite Africa Union and Ecowas' efforts to keep the borders open.

A benefit of the closure was the exposure of Nigeria's wealth. Nigeria is the third country in Africa with the highest Gross National Product. The closure has exposed how financially independent the country is.

After the closure of the border,  countries like Ghana, Togo, Benin, and Thailand have been on the media, looking for how the border can be opened.

Most countries that always deport Nigerians and assault them appeared to be dependent on Nigeria's economy to sustain and maintain their country. The closure of the border exposed this.

Despite the benefits that arise from the closure of the border, increase in revenue, etc, the closure has increased the price of the commodity in the country. The price of Imported foods like rice, turkey etc doubled from what it was before the closure.

Another disadvantage of the closure is the scarcity of petroleum to Nigerians living close to the border. The closure has also caused a decline in the demand of petroleum, the petroleum exported to neighbouring countries has been banned too.

In the final note, the decision to extend the closure of the border or open it is a matter of indecision considering the benefits and disadvantages of both sides. However, the government should consider her citizen because only a few can afford the current price of the commodity in the country.

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