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Recession Forces Nigeria To Reopen Borders – Minister

by on November 26, 2020
 

By Brangyet Kabien

The Minister of Finance Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed has said that President Muhammadu Buhari will soon announce the opening of the nation’s land borders.


The decision to reopen the borders of the Africa’s biggest economy and and the economic hub of West Africa May not be unconnected with the recent slid to recession. 


According to the minister, a report of a presidential committee’s advise on the reopening of the nation’s borders will be submitted to President Buhari with the recommendation for reopening.


Nigeria had in August 2019, closed its land border against the 15-member Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), on account of proliferation of illegal importation of drugs, small arms and agricultural products into the country neighbouring countries.


The minister disclosed this while responding to a question on the closure of the border at the end of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Buhari.


She said that the committee set up by  President Buhari had  done an assessment of the gains of the closure and had recommended to the president to reopen the borders. 


Members of the committee are: ministers of finance, budget and national planning, interior and foreign affairs.
Ahmed said who said that once members of the committee sign the report, it would be submitted, however was silent on the day of submission and also date of the  reopening.


The minister, had at a roundtable discussion  at the 26th Nigerian Economic Summit (NES #26), gave assurance that the borders would be reopened soon.


She had told the audience at the summit that: “We have made an assessment. The president set up a committee and we have made an assessment and all the members of the committee agreed and are recommending to the president that it is time to reopen the borders. The objective has been met in the sense that we have been able, over these couple of months,  to work  together with our partners in a tripartite committee and do a joint border patrol together and reinforced the sanctity of the commitments that we made to each other. So, each side has learnt its lesions. Nigeria has been affecting our partners in terms of businesses that we have in Nigeria as well. So, we will be expecting that the borders will be reopened very soon. The date will be decided by Mr President.”

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