Nigeria-Niger Border Closure Threatens $226m Trade


Nigeria-Niger Border Closure Threatens $226m Trade

The Nigerian-Nigerien trade worth about $226.34m is at risk of breaking down following a border closure between the two countries.


The recent border closure by Nigeria with Niger following a military takeover that overthrew President Mohammed Bazoum’s democratically elected administration, is negatively affecting trade between both countries.


The acting Comptroller General of Customs, Bashir Adeniyi, recently announced that because of current conditions in Niger, the borders had been blocked, with certain locations becoming off-limits to travel.


He stated that the decision was taken by the Economic Community of West African Countries. In a recent letter to the Nigerian Senate, President Bola Tinubu, stated that ECOWAS had come up with a communique against the coup in Niger.


The letter read, “Closure and monitoring of all land borders with the Niger Republic and reactivating of the border drilling exercise, cutting off electricity supply to the Niger Republic, mobilising international support for the implementation of the provisions of the ECOWAS communiqué; preventing the operation of commercial and special flights into and from Niger Republic; blockade of goods in transit to Niger especially from Lagos and eastern seaports.”


The border closure was set to impact the $226.34m trade between both countries. According to the International Trade Center, imports and exports between Nigeria and Niger in 2022 totalled $226.34m. Nigeria imported $33.43m worth of goods and exported goods worth $192.91m to Niger.


This was not the first time Nigeria was closing its border with Niger in recent times.


In 2019, Nigeria partially closed its border with Niger and other neighbouring countries. Trade between both countries fell by 78.76 per cent to $18.27m in 2020 from $85.98m as of the end of 2019.


Data from the multilateral agency, which had a joint mandate with the World Trade Organisation and the United Nations, and got its data from the National Bureau of Statistics and the United Nations COMTRADE, revealed that imports from Niger included edible fruit and nuts, peel of citrus fruit or melons, raw hides and skins (other than fur skins) and leather, edible vegetables and certain roots and tube, dairy produce; birds’ eggs; natural honey; edible products of animal origin, and others.


Exports included mineral fuels, mineral oils and products of their distillation, bituminous substances, tobacco and manufactured tobacco substitutes, salt, sulphur, plastering materials, lime, cement, plastics, fertilisers, and others.


The trade was now at risk, following Nigeria’s deteriorating relationship with Niger. On Friday, August 4, the military junta in Niger cut ties with Nigeria, France, and other countries after the peace talks with the Economic Community of West Africa States failed.


The closure has led to a long line of articulated vehicles crowding the border connecting Niger Republic to Nigeria in the Illela border town of Sokoto State.

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