As the January 31 deadline for the expiration of the first phase of the Joint Security Operation ‘EX-SWIFT’ Response approaches, businesses in Nigeria and other neighbouring West African countries have raised expectations that the Federal Government would finally come to agreement with its neighbours to re-open the borders to genuine import and export trade.
Nigeria’s land borders have been partially closed since August 20, 2019 following the government’s determination to reduce smuggling of foreign rice, vehicles and other contraband commodities.
Since the closure, business owners in Nigeria, Benin Republic, and Niger that depend on the border to survive have been seriously affected following their inability to carry out their legitimate businesses.
Speaking to BDSUNDAY in a telephone interview, Ogbonnaya Gordon, former coordinator of the National Council of Managing Directors of Customs Licensed Agents (NCMDCLA) at Seme border, said the border closure has negatively impacted businesses in the border area.
He said that Nigerians welcome the government’s idea of putting a very good structure in place to protect Nigeria in terms of border business.